Postnatal care: exploring the views of first-time mothers
Community Practitioner, 83, (12), .
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Government policy has highlighted the provision of a postnatal service that responds to women's physical, psychological, emotional and social needs. This paper presents the results of a small in-depth qualitative study that aimed to explore the views of first-time mothers with regard to the level of support they would have liked to receive from health visitors during the postnatal period, focusing on the theme of health visitor contact. Homogenous sampling was used to identify seven first-time mothers. Data was collected from semi-structured interviews and analysed using a thematic network approach. Four organising themes were identified - health visitor contact, emotional adjustment to motherhood, infant feeding and other support.
Although the first-time mothers valued the postnatal support provided by the health visitor highly, there were varying levels of satisfaction with the frequency and pattern of health visitor contacts. The findings also raise issues about the perception of need and the value of home visiting during the postnatal period.
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