Author(s): Razurel C, BruchonSchweitzer M, Dupanloup A, Irion O, Epiney M
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: to identify problems and events perceived as stressful by primiparous mothers during the postpartum period, and to explore the social support and coping strategies they used to face these situations. DESIGN: a qualitative study. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews and analysed using a content-analysis method. SETTING: Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland from October 2006 to March 2007. PARTICIPANTS: 60 women interviewed six weeks after the birth at term of their first child. FINDINGS: during the early postpartum period, interaction with caregivers was an important source of perceived stress. Upon returning home, the partner was considered as the primary source of social support, but the first need expressed was for material support. Breast feeding was perceived negatively by the new mothers, and this may be due to the difference between the actual problems encountered and the idealised expectations conveyed by prenatal information. Educational information dispensed by medical staff during the prenatal period was not put into practice during the postpartum period. Mothers expressed the need to be accompanied and counselled when problems arose and regretted the lack of long-term postpartum support. KEY CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: both the prenatal education and postpartum social support seem to mismatch women's needs and expectations. Concerted efforts are required by health professionals at the maternity unit and in the community to provide mothers with more adequate postpartum assistance. Copyright © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Midwifery
and referenced in Journal of Nursing & Care