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Keywords:

  • stress;
  • social support;
  • maternal competence;
  • postnatal physical condition;
  • postnatal depression

Abstract

Postpartum maternal well being across cultures has received limited research attention. We examined relationships among stress, social support, and health in 152 Chinese mothers <1 year postpartum in the United States. These mothers did not perceive high levels of stress, although they did not receive as much support as they indicated they needed; 23.7% of mothers scored high for depressive symptoms. About half of the mothers experienced interrupted sleep, decrease in memory, and lack of sexual desire. All health measures were inter-correlated. Social support moderated the effects of stress on depressive symptoms. Culturally relevant care that is perceived as supportive may promote postpartum maternal health. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 32:582–591, 2009