Exploring women's experiences regarding postpartum physical activity: A qualitative research study
Akbari Nassaji, Neda
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Although recovery after birth can be promoted through body movement, many women do not engage in postpartum physical activity. However, a limited number of studies were carried out to explore how postpartum physical activity was socially and institutionally constructed. Therefore, this research study explored women’s experiences regarding postpartum physical activity in Nova Scotia. Data were collected through interviews with six postpartum mothers. Feminist poststructuralism and discourse analysis were used to explore women’s experiences. Three themes were identified : (a) Boost our body, lift our mind; (b) Being a role model; and (c) Socialization, social support. Results showed some mothers did not have enough support to engage in postpartum physical activity. In addition, mothers’ own needs became sidelined in the social discourses of motherhood. The findings suggest that health care professionals, mothers, researchers should collaborate to find creative ways to encourage and support mothers to engage in postpartum physical activity.