For many new mothers, the transition to parenthood is a physically and psychologically challenging time, characterised by an intense period of adjustment to the mothering role, and often complicated by the physical and psychological sequelae stemming from the birth experience and the early postpartum period. Difficult birth and breastfeeding experiences can have consequences for mothers that reach far beyond the first weeks or months following delivery, including psychological distress; feelings of shame, guilt, and inadequacy, and other trauma symptoms; and problems within the mother-infant relationship, including delayed bonding and breastfeeding problems.

This study aims to:

(a) examine relationships between birth experiences, breastfeeding difficulties, psychological flexibility and self-compassion, and a number of postnatal maternal and child outcomes; and

(b) use a quasi-experimental pre-post design to evaluate the acceptability and explore the potential utility of a brief self-compassion- and mindfulness-based online intervention for women in the post-partum period. 

Project members

Dr Amy Mitchell

Honorary Research Fellow
School of Psychology