Objective: To investigate the social factors that would help women who had quit smoking due to pregnancy from returning to smoking after delivery of their baby.
Methods: Women who attended their first antenatal check-up at a general public hospital were invited to participate in pre- and postpartum interviews.
Results: A total of 24 women were interviewed pre- and postpartum. They reported isolation as a factor that influenced how they dealt with stress. This stress was linked to relapse. The use of electronic media through the Internet was a way women could interact with the outside community without having to leave home.
Conclusions: Women who had strong family relationships in geographic proximity were not as likely to use the computer to interact with relatives and friends. Women who did not have strong local and family ties that support their desire to not go back to smoking, reported using Facebook and other Internet activities to keep in touch while they stayed at home with their new infant.
Implications: The use of electronic media may help facilitate interaction between new mothers, which could prevent isolation and relapse back to smoking after delivery. This mechanism might also be used to enhance skill-development and problem-solving by these women.