Early postpartum transition: Progress in maternal identity and role attainment

Authors

  • Dr. Karen F. Pridham PhD, RN,

    Corresponding author
    1. Helen Denne Schulte Professor of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Practice, Washington, D.C.
    • University of Wisconsin—Madison, School of Nursing, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53792
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  • Diane Lytton PhD,

    1. Research Assistant in the Department of Family Medicine and Practice, Washington, D.C.
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  • Audrey S. Chang PhD,

    1. Chief statistician at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
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  • Dorothy Rutledge RN, MS

    1. Continuing Education instructor at Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg, Canada
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Abstract

Sets of early postpartum transition variables and relationships among them examined in this study were: (a) Maternal attributes (parity, age, education); (b) infant feeding plan (extent of breast-feeding); (c) birthing conditions (supports and stressors during labor and delivery); (d) birthing experience (how well labor and delivery went, usefulness of postpartum learning resources, adequacy of hospital stay); and (e) transition markers (evaluation of parenting and of infant- and self-care capability). Infant feeding plan was related to supports but not to how well labor and delivery went. Whereas preparation for birthing was positively related to how well labor and delivery went, stressors were negatively related. The direct contribution of preparation for birthing to both parenting evaluation and infant- and self-care capability and of supports and usefulness of postpartum resources to self-care capability merits clinical attention to these variables. Research concerning types of birthing experience that may contribute to evaluation of parenting is needed.

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