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J Clin Nurs. 2010 Jun;19(11-12):1716-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.02971.x. Epub 2010 Apr 5.

Parenting satisfaction during the immediate postpartum period: factors contributing to mothers' and fathers' perceptions.

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  • 1Finnish Post-Graduate School of Nursing Science, Department of Nursing Science, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland 33014. anne.h.salonen@uta.fi

Abstract

AIMS:

To compare mothers' and fathers' parenting satisfaction; to identify factors contributing to their parenting satisfaction; and to evaluate the effect of these factors.

BACKGROUND:

Parenting satisfaction is important for parents' motivation to care, nurture and interact with their child. Parenting is influenced by attributes of parent, infant and the environment. However, more research is needed to understand the contributing factors.

DESIGN:

Parenting satisfaction and several parent, infant and environment attributes were measured at hospital or in one week of discharge. A total of 2600 questionnaires were handed out to a convenience sample of Finnish speaking parents in two hospitals during the winter of 2006. Multiple-birth and early-discharge parents receiving support at home were excluded. Responses were received from 863 mothers (66%) and 525 fathers (40%).

METHODS:

Comparisons were made by percentages and means. Significances were determined by GEE models and One Way anova tests. Pearson's and Spearman's correlations were used to determine correlations and multiple regression analysis to clarify the effect size.

RESULTS:

Mothers were more satisfied than fathers with their parenting. Self-concept, depressive symptoms, infant centrality, state of mind on discharge and perception of infant contributed most to parenting satisfaction. Family functioning, health and advice from personnel were major contributory factors as well.

CONCLUSION:

Hospital practices and social support from personnel did not correlate with parenting satisfaction. More research is recommended to evaluate them, since they had an effect when combined with other attributes.

RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE:

Our results will help professionals understand the experiences, resources and challenges faced by parents. Family-oriented care and sound advice have the potential to offer the most supportive environment for both parents. If professionals can identify mothers who are afraid, concerned or insecure during pregnancy, they can also offer them extra support before the child is born.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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