Satisfaction with social support and functional status after childbirth
Purpose: To explore the relationship between satisfaction with support and functional status after childbirth. Design: Prospective longitudinal survey design. Methods: Two hundred new mothers who had experienced a healthy pregnancy, normal delivery and puerperium, and delivered a healthy infant between 37 and 42 weeks gestation were approached while attending primary healthcare maternal-child health centers and immunization clinics in New South Wales, Australia. Measurement tools included the Inventory of Functional Status After Childbirth and the Support Behavior Inventory, and were administered at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. Results: Significant increases in total mean functional scores, scores for household responsibilities, social activities, and self-care were noted. Although no significant correlation was found between satisfaction with social support and functional status after childbirth, satisfaction with support from one's partner decreased significantly during the 6-month survey period, as did satisfaction with support from others. Clinical Implications: It could be that providers need to assess the social support needs of their clients. A postnatal support plan could be used by mothers to negotiate the long-term involvement of others in household tasks and selected aspects of infant care.
American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing