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Mandatory Fields
Leahy-Warren P.
Social support for first-time mothers: An Irish study
Scopus: 18 ()
Optional Fields
First-time mothers Midwifery Nursing Postpartum Public health nurses Social support
PURPOSE: To identify support needs, formal and informal support networks, and types of support provided to first-time mothers for infant care practices at 6 weeks after delivery in Ireland. METHODS: This was a quantitative descriptive design that used a 28-item questionnaire to measure social support needs and formal and informal support networks in the context of infant care practices. A convenience sample of 135 first-time mothers was recruited; 74% (n = 99) completed questionnaires at 6 weeks after birth. RESULTS: Most of the women reported informal social networks as their primary source of support in caring for their infants. Husbands/partners and the women's mothers were the persons identified most frequently as having provided them with each type of social support. From professional social networks, public health nurses and midwives were identified as having provided informational, instrumental, and appraisal support. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Findings from this study have differentiated between informal and formal social support sources and the functional types of support they provide. Nurses who work with first-time mothers should remember that social support is not a uniform phenomenon but rather a support provided by various sources, both from a woman's social network and from healthcare professionals.
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