Heading Toward the New Normal: A Contemporay Postpartum Experience
Article first published online: 26 JUL 2006
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 30, Issue 5, pages 496–506, September 2001
How to Cite
Martell, L. K. (2001), Heading Toward the New Normal: A Contemporay Postpartum Experience. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 30: 496–506. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2001.tb01569.x
- Issue published online: 26 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 26 JUL 2006
- Accepted: March 2001
- Early postpartum period;
- Maternal development;
- Postpartum period;
- Primiparous women
To describe Contemporary women's postpartum experience. Previous descriptions, especially Rubin's taking-in and taking-hold, may no longer apply in this era of 24- to 48-hour hospital stays.
Qualitative descriptive, using grounded theory methodology. Participants were interviewed about their postpartum experiences. Constant comparative analysis of the interview transcripts was concurrent with data collection.
Interviews were conducted iv participants' homes during the 1st week after childbirth and again 1 to 2 weeks later.
Thirty-two first-time mothers, who vaginally delivered a full-term infant, were recruited through childbirth education classes.
The major theme that emerged was Heading toward the new normal, a process through which the participants began to reorient their lives as mothers. The supporting categories were Appreciating the body, Settling in, and Establishing a new family.
The participants' postpartum psychosocial development was a continuous process without discrete stages and phases. This finding differs from Rubin's puerperal change theory. With this new theoretical description, nurses can develop more effective care for contemporary child-bearing women.