A Study on Postpartum Experiences and Coping Mechanisms of Primipara and Multipara

Topics: Childbirth, Coping skill, Mother Pages: 21 (6310 words) Published: July 30, 2013
CHAPTER I
The Problem and Its Background

Introduction
Postpartum is the stage after the childbirth. The word “para” refers to the number of pregnancies that have progresses to 20 or more weeks at delivery, whether the fetus was born live or was still born. It is also defined as a number of pregnancies, not the number of fetuses. A woman who has given birth once after a pregnancy for at least 20 weeks of gestation is called primipara while a woman who has given birth 2 or more times at 20 or more weeks of gestation is termed as multipara. Coping mechanisms are patterns of behavior toward managing and resolving various problems, events and stressors. (Mc Kinney et al., 2005)

Becoming a parent can be one of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful transitions in a person’s life, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Being a mother, every woman has their own difficulties adjusting to being a mom, particularly after the firstborn. They have tumultuous mix of experiences, with many extremes from high to low. Having a baby and becoming a mother can often bring a mix of contradictory feelings. Pregnancy and childbirth are a happy and joyous time for some women, but for others the experience can be one of anxiety, fear, and confusion. Due to the fact that our society holds pregnancy and motherhood in high regard, many women suffer in silence when their experience is anything less than sublime, because of fear they will be negatively judged. Speaking about one's negative feelings challenges powerful cultural myths. Many myths tell people that becoming a mother should be the happiest time in a woman's life, that all women possess an all-powerful maternal instinct, that motherly love is limitless and unwavering, and that the baby is supposed to provide the mother with total fulfilment. These messages about mothering, that are everywhere, can be intimidating and harmful. They set mothers up to feel ashamed for any negative feelings they may be having. These messages create powerful deterrents to speaking freely about one's struggles with motherhood. And they can also make it difficult to know whether these feelings are the normal mood fluctuations of pregnancy and the postpartum period, or symptoms of a more serious problem.(Hanoski, 2009)

Nowadays, this period is also a time when parents become acquainted with and further their attachment to their newborn. Today the average patient’s postpartum in hospital stay is very short, passing challenges and opportunities for nurses who must assure the woman’s physical, psychological recovery is progressing normally, the parents educational needs are met, and the family is adjusting to the infants. (Bobak et al., 2007)

In addition to experiencing a major life change, new moms are subjected to a number of physiological, social, and emotional influences, which can have a significant impact. According to research, 80-90% of new moms will experience some level of postpartum adjustment difficulties. 10 new mothers experience varying degrees of postpartum difficulties, it still remains one of the least identified and diagnosed reactions. A study of postnatal depressed women showed that over 90 percent realized something was wrong, however less than 20 percent reported their symptoms to a health care provider. However postpartum difficulties affect 10%-20% of postpartum women or about 1million mother each year. (Leifer, 2007)

Due to the multitude of factors involved, many researchers have noted that becoming a mother is often the most challenging period of a woman’s life. Despite this, there is a cultural myth that parenthood represents a state of bliss and extreme happiness, which is impossible to attain. The “supermom” myth is very damaging to healthy adjustment, and women need to be taught that parenting is not only an acquired skill, but can be inordinately demanding. Due to these societal pressures and expectations, many women are reluctant to be honest and forthcoming...

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Carrol, M. et al. (2007). Essential Mental health Nursing Skills. United Kingdom: Mosby Inc.
Gallagher et al., (2007 October/November). Coping Strategies. The Black Table.
Hanoski T. (2009 November/December). The postpartum Experience. Edmonton’s Child Magazine
http://postpartum-health.suite101.com/article.cfm/sleep_is_a_natural_
Keltner, N. et al (2007) Psychiatric Nursing (5th Ed.). Singapore: Mosby Inc.
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Littleton, L.Y. (2006). Maternal, Neonatal and Women’s Health Nursing Texas: Delmar
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