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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Postnatal guidance and maternal confidence Pullen, Phyllis Margaret


Primigravida mothers need positive feedback and successes in infant care giving if they are to learn and to continue learning about caring for their infants. Maternal confidence increases as the mothers succeed and master the skills required. Confidence is related to good maternal-infant relationships. Public health nurses have opportunities to provide support and positive learning experiences which should increase maternal confidence. This quasi-experimental study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of an interview technique used at child health conferences, oni primigravida mothers' confidence as parents and infant care givers. The interview was constructed to focus on the mothers' successes in infant care giving, rather than problems. A non-time equivalent pretest-posttest questionnaire or confidence measure was used to gather the data. The subjects were 34 primparous women with healthy babies from intact family situations. Sixteen mothers, recruited at child health conferences in one health unit area, finished the study in the control group. Eighteen mothers finished the study in the experimental group. Five instructed public health nurses interviewed the experimental group subjects. Control group subjects had the regular child health conference interview. All subjects filled in the questionnaire prior to their first child health, conference when the infant was two months old and again after the second child health;conference when their infant was four months old. Statistical analysis comparing the pretest and posttest scores for both groups indicated no significant difference between the two groups on the pretest or the posttest scores. Maternal confidence, in both groups, as indicated by the confidence measure, did increase significantly over the two month period from two months postpartum to four months postpartum. This was not related to a specific nursing interview technique. Implications for nursing practice are discussed and recommendations made for further research.

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