Social support provided by nurses to recent mothers on a maternity ward


Marja-Terttu Tarkka, Kokonkatu 7, 335060 Tampere Filand


The purpose of this study was to look at the social support provided by nurses on a maternity ward to recent mothers and to describe the mothers'experiences of their stay on the ward after childbirth The data were collected with a questionnaire in a sample of 200 mothers giving birth at Tampere University Hospital The questionnaire was specially designed for this study by the researcher on the basis of Kahn's (1979) theory of social support Of the three categories of support identified in that theory, the one that mothers reported receiving most of during their stay on the maternity ward was concrete aid, and the type of support they received least was affect or emotional support The vast majority or 95% of the mothers described their stay on the ward as a positive experience Both first-time and other mothers had hoped to receive more guidance in child care and breastfeeding