Danica Kannathasan

BSc student, Health Studies

Danica Kannathasan


BSc Honours Health Studies (Co-op); Health Research Specialization; Addictions, Mental Health and Policy Minor; and Gerontology Diploma


Dr. Elena Neiterman

My thesis

Research has shown that the postpartum period is a crucial time for mothers, as it can impact their health, well-being, and social roles. Unfortunately, there is a lack of research on the postpartum experiences of Tamil mothers living in Canada.

To address this gap, my research aimed to explore the lived experiences of Tamil mothers during the postpartum period. I used a qualitative methodological design and conducted 15 semi-structured interviews with Tamil mothers across Canada to gain an in-depth understanding of their postpartum experiences and identified the unique challenges that they face.

The findings from this study have the potential to help healthcare and community workers better support Tamil mothers during this important time and improve the postpartum care provided to the Tamil community.

Why did you do this project?

Growing up, whenever I watched Tamil movies with my family, I noticed that everyone would rush to see the baby, but very few people would ask the mother how she was doing. This sparked my curiosity, and I often wondered why no one inquired about the mother's well-being.

During the pandemic, two of my relatives delivered babies in Canada and had vastly different experiences. One of my relatives recently came from Sri Lanka and had difficulty navigating her postpartum period. She felt that postpartum services were primarily tailored to the Western population and did not consider the traditional practices she was familiar with. On the other hand, the other relative who was raised in Canada struggled to balance traditional cultural practices with Westernized postpartum care. She also expressed similar concerns about the lack of resources tailored to Tamil postpartum practices.

After looking at their experiences, I saw a gap in Canada’s existing postpartum care and wanted to create resources that help healthcare and community professionals become aware of the Tamil culture’s postpartum traditions.

What did you enjoy about it the most?

I really enjoyed conducting semi-structured interviews with my participants. All 15 participants were passionate about improving the postpartum care for Tamil mothers, and I gained valuable insights from their experiences. After every interview, their enthusiasm and encouragement reminded me of the significance of this research, which kept me motivated throughout the process.

How do you think it will help in the future?

My thesis served as a stepping stone for me to explore my interest in qualitative research. Moving forward, I aspire to conduct further research on maternal health and use my findings to improve the healthcare system for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, Person of Colour) individuals.

My project has given me the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue this career path, and I am excited to continue learning and helping to improve Canada's healthcare system.