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Postpartum issues for expectant mothers and fathers.

Matthey, Stephen , Morgan, M. , Healey, L. , Barnett, B. , Kavanagh, David J., & Howie, Pauline (2002) Postpartum issues for expectant mothers and fathers. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 31(4), pp. 428-435.

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the postpartum psychosocial and infant care topics that women and men who attend preparation for parenthood classes have been thinking or worrying about during the pregnancy. Furthermore, to compare the rates of endorsement of such issues for women and men so that clinicians can use this information to help plan which topics to include in preparation for parenthood classes.

DESIGN: A survey of expectant parents attending preparation for parenthood classes at a local public hospital. Participants completed a 17- to 19-item postpartum issues checklist devised for the study.

SETTING: Preparation for parenthood classes conducted in a public hospital in South Western Sydney, Australia.

PARTICIPANTS: People attending the session were in their 2nd to 3rd trimester, of low to middle socioeconomic status, and 95% were expecting their first child. Eighty-five percent of women were accompanied by their male partner at the session. Data are reported from 201 women and 182 men.

MEASURE: A 17-item issues checklist was devised initially and later expanded to 19 items. The initial checklist covered three psychosocial issues: interpersonal, intrapersonal, and parental competency. The expanded checklist also included items on infant care issues. Participants rated each item as to the extent to which they had been thinking or worrying about it over the past few weeks.

RESULTS: More than half of the men and women had been thinking or worrying about their ability to cope as new parents; just less than half of both men and women endorsed the item regarding the effect having a baby would have on their relationship with their partner; approximately 40% of women had thought that they might get bored or lonely when at home with the baby, and an equal rate of men reported that their partner experiencing this sense of boredom-or loneliness was an issue for them. There were few differences between the genders in the rate of endorsement on the issues checklist.

CONCLUSION: That many of the issues on the checklist are prevalent in both women and men at this time in the pregnancy would suggest that these are topics that would be pertinent for inclusion at preparation for parenthood classes. Although the checklist is not exhaustive, the data reported give empirical justification for inclusion of these topics in such classes.

Impact and interest:

17 citations in Scopus
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15 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 30358
Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0884-2175
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Deposited On: 11 Feb 2010 12:24
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2011 02:16

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