‘Lonely within the mother’: An exploratory study of first-time mothers’ experiences of loneliness

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6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Loneliness is associated with life transitions such as new motherhood, yet there are few studies investigating the issue in this population. Using data from semi-structured interviews and an interpretative phenomenological analysis, this exploratory study sought to understand seven new mothers’ experiences of loneliness. Experiences were organised around three themes, reflecting loneliness arising from making unfavourable self-comparisons with perceived mothering ‘norms’, from reduced social contact and relationships lacking in empathy. Accounts were homogeneous and point to potential solutions to ameliorate loneliness in new mothers; encouraging empathy in new mothers’ partners and countering prevalent unrealistic representations of motherhood with more pragmatic accounts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Health Psychology
Early online date10 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Aug 2017

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • health psychology
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • loneliness
  • qualitative methods
  • women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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