Exploring the lived experiences of first-time mothers and their partners affected by post-natal depression in rural Sanyati district, Zimbabwe


  • Mathew Nyashanu Department of Health and Allied Professions Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • Thamary Karonga Department of Nursing and Midwifery Northrise University, Ndola, Zambia
  • Fungisai Mushawa Department of Health and Social Work Nottingham, United Kingdom




Biopsychosocial, Emotional support, First time parents, Post-natal depression


Background: First time mothers and their partners are faced with a number of challenges including learning new skills and changing roles to meet the baby’s needs. support the new baby. Although an exciting time, the early days of first-time parents is filled with excitement as well as challenges in adapting their lifestyle resulting in pressure and anxiety to look after the baby. The objective of this study was to explore the lived experiences of first-time mothers and their partners affected by post-natal depression (PND) among rural communities.

Methods: A collaborative exploratory qualitative approach underpinned by interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) was employed. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on ten (10) first time mothers and their partners who came for six-week post-natal care and for growth monitoring up to 6 months post-delivery at Sanyati Baptist hospital. Data were analysed using a thematic approach and guided by the four stages of data analysis in interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA). N-vivo was used to organize the data to enhance management during analysis.

Results: The study showed that first time parents from rural communities felt trapped with childbirth, overwhelmed by changes, resultant disruptive relationships, lack of support and bouts of depression.

Conclusions: There is need to improve maternal support for first time mothers in rural communities. First time fathers need to learn new skills and adapt in supporting the baby and mother to prevent depression and marital breakdown.


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Original Research Articles