Objective: to present an integrated literature review on maternal parental self-efficacy (MPSE) in the postpartum period.Data sources: a literature search of CINAHL with full text and MEDLINE and PsycINFO from their start dates to February 2010.Study selection: inclusion criteria were English written research articles which reported the measurement of MPSE in the postpartum period.Data extraction: articles were reviewed based on purpose, theoretical framework, data collection method, sample, main findings and nursing implications for maternal parenting. In addition, data related to the instruments that were used to measure MPSE were included.Data synthesis: data revealed is a statistically significant increase in MPSE over time from baseline; a positive relationship between MPSE and number of children, social support, maternal parenting satisfaction and marital satisfaction; and a negative relationship between MPSE and maternal stress, anxiety and postpartum depression. A variety of instruments to measure MPSE were used but the majority were based on Bandura's framework.Conclusions: findings from this review may assist women's health researchers and clinical nurses/midwives in assessing and developing appropriate interventions for increasing risk awareness, enhancing MPSE and subsequent satisfaction with parenting and emotional well-being. Further research is necessary underpinned by theoretical frameworks using domain-specific instruments to identify predictors of MPSE. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.