Psychological Wellbeing and Maternal Competence of Postpartum Mothers in Taiwan

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 3:15 PM
Tsui-Ping Chu, MS, RN , Nursing Department, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Ching-Yu Cheng, PhD, RN , Family and Community Health Nursing, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Nursing, Richmond, VA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to point out the relationships between maternal psychological wellbeing and maternal competence.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to identify feelings postpartum mothers may experience.

Postpartum depression was widely studied, however; how it relates to maternal competence and feelings were not fully understood. Purposes of this study are to examine (a) levels of postpartum depressive symptoms (PDS, feelings, and maternal competence (MC) of Chinese postpartum mothers in Taiwan, (b) relationships between PDS, feelings, and MC, and (c) relationships between demographics, PDS and MC. The study was a cross-sectional design with snowball sampling of 247 mothers within 1 year postpartum. Instruments included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC), and a question with 14 positive and negative feelings. The mean ages of participants was 30.85, 50.8% of them were primiparas, 67.9% delivered vaginally, 5.3% had postpartum complications, 48.8% of their children were females, mean child age was 6.48 months. Descriptive statistics, Pearson and point biserial correlation, and t-test or Mann-Whitney U test were used to analyze the data. Results showed that mothers did not have high scores on the CES-D and PSOC. Yet, 35.6% of mothers had potential of being depressed. Many mothers felt tired (68.6%) and discouraged (30.5%) yet were supported (34.7%) and felt content (33.1%). Maternal competence was negatively related to PDS and negative feelings but positively related to positive feelings. PDS were related to feelings of support, confident, discouragement, messy, unsure, and isolate whereas MC was related to content, support, confident, discouragement, confuse, and messy. However, these correlations were not strong. Mothers' demographics did not relate to PDS or competence except that mothers receiving postpartum care had fewer PDS and higher competence. Cultural postpartum care, support, and encouragement are important in decreasing depression and increasing competence. Tiredness experienced by many mothers needs to be further studied and managed. Longitudinal interventional studies may help to understand overtime changes of PDS and MC and to promote maternal health.