Experiences of postpartum mothers and a significant other in a dyadic physical activity programme

Rachel Margaret Carr, C Thogersen-Ntoumani, N Ntoumanis, A Prestwich, D.F. Gucciardi, E Quested

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dyadic interventions may promote physical activity (PA) amongst postpartum mothers. However, such interventions may not always be effective, and research is needed to explore the factors influencing engagement. Amongst this population, this study explores the perceived benefits, barriers to, and facilitators of a) PA participation, and b) engagement with two dyadic PA interventions. We conducted interviews with 17 postpartum mothers and 10 significant others (aged 26–61 years old). Data were analysed with reflexive thematic analysis. Barriers to PA engagement were that it was easy to set plans, but hard to carry them out due to childcare, work, studying/chores. Setting PA plans and receiving practical support from their partner were important ways to overcome barriers to being active, e.g., some participants looked after the children, so their partner could engage in PA, as a part of their plan. Feeling motivated to exercise as a family was also a facilitator of PA. Barriers to programme participation were a lack of motivation and a preference for exercise prescription. Perceived benefits of programme participation included increased PA commitment and accountability to the plans. Amongst other techniques, participants used prompts (e.g. spouse getting their children breakfast/coming home from work/their partner ‘checking in’), as a cue to start their PA plans. Findings show that tailored interventions to address the challenges of being a postpartum mother are needed; “one-size” fits all approach does not work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-101
JournalAsian Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2023

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