What Do Women Want to Know After Childbirth?

Authors

  • Caroline Farbman Moran MPH, ICCE,

    Corresponding author
    1. Caroline Moran is a childbirth educator at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington; Victoria Holt and Diane Martin are faculty in the departments of epidemiology and health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Seattle, Washington.
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  • Victoria L. Holt RN, MPH,

    1. Caroline Moran is a childbirth educator at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington; Victoria Holt and Diane Martin are faculty in the departments of epidemiology and health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Seattle, Washington.
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  • Diane P. Martin PhD

    1. Caroline Moran is a childbirth educator at Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington; Victoria Holt and Diane Martin are faculty in the departments of epidemiology and health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine in Seattle, Washington.
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  • This research was supported by grant # MCJ 9043 from the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, US Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

Address correspondence to Ms. Caroline Farbman Moran, 105 Big Bear Place NW Issaquah, WA 98027.

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Background: Postpartum women have demonstrated a variety of health care concerns. This study, conducted in Washington state in 1991, investigated predictors of primiparas' and multiparas' desire to receive more information about 18 self-care and baby care topics at 7 weeks postpartum in relation to prenatal class attendance, short postpartum hospital stay, and other variables. Methods: Data from 1161 women who completed a survey were analyzed. Percentages of women desiring more information on each topic were calculated stratified by parity: mean numbers of chosen health topics were calculated in relation to prenatal education, length of postpartum hospitalization, maternal age, education, social support, and type of delivery; and associations between desire for more information on specific topics and length of postpartum hospitalization, maternal age, maternal education, and social support were calculated. Results: Over three-fourths of women wanted more information on at least one topic, and the highest percentage wanted more information on exercise, diet, and nutrition; getting along with their other children; and recognizing infant illness. Primiparas and multiparas who desired more information were under 25 years of age and had low levels of social support; in addition, multiparas with unmet information needs had low education and short postpartum stays. Prenatal education was unrelated to postpartum desire for more information. Conclusion: Most postpartum women want self-care and baby care information, a need that is not completely met by prenatal or postpartum education. Postpartum follow-up programs with a strong educational component and special targeting of high-risk women may enable health caregivers to better address this need.

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