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The experience of women returning to work after the birth of their first child Hall, Wendy


This study explores the experience of women returning to work following the birth of their first child. Grounded theory methodology was used to collect, code, categorize, compare, and contrast data gathered in interviews with eight women. The substantive theory generated from this approach indicated first-time mothers viewed their resumption of the work role as a process of role redefinition. Role redefinition consisted of three stages: taking on multiple roles, experiencing role strain, and reducing role strain. Each stage evolved from a central concept and was characterized by specific behaviours. The conceptual framework provides direction for nursing implications. These are discussed for various phases of the childbearing period. The process of role redefinition directs nurses to provide first-time mothers with anticipatory and concurrent guidance as they take on and manage multiple roles.

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