Postpartum Traditions, Mental Health, and Help-Seeking Considerations Among Vietnamese American Women: a Mixed-Methods Pilot Study

J Behav Health Serv Res. 2017 Jul;44(3):428-441. doi: 10.1007/s11414-015-9476-5.


The purpose of this study was to explore Vietnamese American mothers' perceptions and experiences with postpartum traditions, postpartum depression (PPD), and mental health help-seeking behavior. Participants were 15 Vietnamese mothers who had given birth to at least one live infant within the previous year. A screening tool revealed that a third of the mothers had probable PPD. More than half reported having recent/current postpartum "sadness" during the interviews. Postpartum traditions played important roles in their well-being and maintaining strong cultural values. However, some reported feelings of isolation and the desire to be able to carry out postpartum traditions more frequently. Many who had reported sadness said that they would not seek professional help; all had felt that their condition was not "severe" enough to warrant help-seeking. Future PPD interventions should consider the importance of postpartum cultural traditions and address help-seeking barriers as ways to prevent the adverse effects of untreated PPD.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asian Americans / psychology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Depression, Postpartum / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Help-Seeking Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Postpartum Period / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires