As little is known about how support assists individuals during a normative life transition, this qualitative, prospective study explored how women chose sources of informal support Women having their first child, returning to work after an extended absence or recently retired from full-time employment were interviewed Support during a life transition was described as having someone who would listen while the woman problem-solved Women preferred to get their support from close family members or others experiencing a similar life transition A number of barriers to the use of support were identified perception that the use of support would be a burden on others, lack of reciprocity, reluctance to ask for support, and nonsupportive messages included within supportive actions The transition often took more than 2 years to complete and, for a subgroup of women, involved major changes in their self-expectations and ability to access support The findings identify areas that nurses should consider in health promotion activities with women who are experiencing these life transitions