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Keywords:

  • maternity services;
  • midwives;
  • mothers;
  • postnatal;
  • sense of security

persson e.k., fridlund b., kvist l.j. & dykes a.-k. (2010) Mothers’ sense of security in the first postnatal week: interview study. Journal of Advanced Nursing67(1), 105–116.

Abstract

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study of factors which influence mothers’ sense of security during the first postnatal week.

Background.  Mothers’ sense of security the first postnatal week is not thoroughly elucidated in the literature.

Methods.  An interview study with a qualitative descriptive design was carried out, using thematic content analysis. Fourteen mothers from three hospital uptake areas in Southern Sweden were interviewed using focus group discussions and individual interviews between May 2008 and March 2009.

Findings.  Postnatal sense of security was dependent on support from staff, support from family and the capacity and health of the woman and the baby, and these themes had categories and sub-categories, including: Being met as an individual, Being given relevant information, Being prepared for the time after birth and Having someone to turn to – knowing who to ask, Having partner and/or significant others close at hand, Mother’s and the baby’s own resources, Being assured that her own physical health was good, and Having planned follow-up regarding the baby’s health after discharge.

Conclusion.  Staff attitudes should be continually discussed at all units providing maternity care. These discussions should include attitudes towards the father and the significance of his presence for the wellbeing of the family. Continued postbasic staff education in, for example, counselling and communication is necessary if services are to be improved so that parents’ individual needs can be met. Preparation for the early postpartum period is important and all information given must be consistent, in particular information about breastfeeding.