PSYCH  Vol.5 No.6 , April 2014
The Experience of Happiness among Chinese Postpartum Mothers
ABSTRACT

Postpartum maternal happiness, an indicator of quality of life that may decrease the effects of negative emotions such as postpartum depression, is not well studied. The purpose of this analysis was to explore how postpartum mothers experience happiness. Data were part of two cross-sectional studies with snowball sampling designed to understand health status of Chinese postpartum mothers. Forty-eight and 151 Chinese mothers within 1-year postpartum in the United States and Taiwan, respectively, answered an open-ended question about the happiest events they experienced during the postpartum period. Qualitative data were analyzed by bracketing contexts to meaning units, aggregating meaning units into themes, and deriving a thematic structure that fitted all themes. Interconnectedness and fulfillment were identified as describing postpartum maternal happiness. Existence of the baby, interaction with the baby, connecting everybody in the family, and integration of the baby into the family were the categories of interconnectedness whereas extension of mother’s life, achievement, and being supported were the categories of fulfillment. The center of the postpartum mother’s life was the baby and the baby, as well as activities associated with the baby, was the main source of mothers’ happiness. Family support and achievement of various expectations, including continuation of the family name, also contributed to maternal happiness. Helping new mothers to understand both positive and negative emotions may encourage further discussion about areas in which mothers are feeling particularly challenged. Interventions such as cognitive counseling that stresses positive emotions may be used to assist new mothers find a healthy balance of emotions, especially cope with depression or feelings of sadness.


Cite this paper
Cheng, C. , Pickler, R. , Chu, T. & Chou, Y. (2014). The Experience of Happiness among Chinese Postpartum Mothers. Psychology, 5, 485-490. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.56058.
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