Advertisement

‘I really needed help’: What mothers say about their post-birth care in Queensland, Australia

  • Maria Zadoroznyj
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: School of Social Science and Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia Campus, 4th Floor, GPN3 (Building 39a), St Lucia 4072, Qld, Australia. Tel.: +61 07 3365 1279; fax: +61 07 33467646.
    Affiliations
    Institute for Social Science Research & School of Social Science, The University of Queensland, 4th floor, GPN3, St Lucia 4072, Qld, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Wendy E. Brodribb
    Affiliations
    Discipline of General Practice, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Level 8, Health Sciences Building, Herston 4029, Qld, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Kate Young
    Affiliations
    Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Hood Street, St Lucia 4072, Qld, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Sue Kruske
    Affiliations
    School of Nursing and Midwifery, The University of Queensland, Level 2, Edith Cavell Building, UQ Herston Campus, Herston 4029, Qld, Australia
    Search for articles by this author
  • Yvette D. Miller
    Affiliations
    Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Hood Street, St Lucia 4072, Qld, Australia

    Public Health and Social Work, Queensland University of Technology, Victoria Park Road, Kelvin Grove 4059, Qld, Australia
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Background

      Australian mothers consistently rate postnatal care as the poorest aspect of their maternity care, and researchers and policymakers have widely acknowledged the need for improvement in how postnatal care is provided.

      Aim

      To identify and analyse mothers’ comments about postnatal care in their free text responses to an open ended question in the Having a Baby in Queensland Survey, 2010, and reflect on their implications for midwifery practice and maternity service policies.

      Methods

      The survey assessed mothers’ experiences of maternity care four months after birth. We analysed free-text data from an open-ended question inviting respondents to write ‘anything else you would like to tell us’. Of the final survey sample (N = 7193), 60% (N = 4310) provided comments, 26% (N = 1100) of which pertained to postnatal care. Analysis included the coding and enumeration of issues to identify the most common problems commented on by mothers. Comments were categorised according to whether they related to in-hospital or post-discharge care, and whether they were reported by women birthing in public or private birthing facilities.

      Results

      The analysis revealed important differences in maternal experiences according to birthing sector: mothers birthing in public facilities were more likely to raise concerns about the quality and/or duration of their in-hospital stay than those in private facilities. Conversely, mothers who gave birth in private facilities were more likely to raise concerns about inadequate post-discharge care. Regardless of birthing sector, however, a substantial proportion of all mothers spontaneously raised concerns about their experiences of inadequate and/or inconsistent breastfeeding support.

      Conclusion

      Women who birth in private facilities were more likely to spontaneously report concerns about their level of post-discharge care than women from public facilities in Queensland, and publically provided community based care is not sufficient to meet women's needs. Inadequate or inconsistent professional breastfeeding support remains a major issue for early parenting women regardless of birthing sector.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Women and Birth
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Hilder L.
        • Zhichao Z.
        • Parker M.
        • Jahan S.
        • Chambers G.M.
        Australia's mothers and babies 2012. Perinatal statistics series no. 30. Cat. no. PER 69.
        AIHW, Canberra2014
        • Brodribb W.E.
        • Zadoroznyj M.
        • Dane A.C.
        Evaluating the implementation of the Universal Postnatal Contact Services in Queensland: experiences of health care providers and mothers.
        Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia2012
        • 3 Miller Y.D.
        • Thompson R.
        • Porter J.
        • Prosser S.J.
        Findings from the Having a Baby in Queensland Survey, 2010.
        Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia2011
        • Brown S.J.
        • Davey M.-A.
        • Bruinsma F.J.
        Women's views and experiences of postnatal hospital care in the Victorian Survey of Recent Mothers 2000.
        Midwifery. 2005; 21: 109-126
        • Fenwick J.
        • Butt J.
        • Dhaliwal S.
        • Hauck Y.
        • Schmied V.
        Western Australian women's perceptions of the style and quality of midwifery postnatal care in hospital and at home.
        Women Birth. 2010; 23: 10
        • Kanotra S.
        • D’Angelo D.
        • Phares T.M.
        • Morrow B.
        • Barfield W.D.
        • Lansky A.
        Challenges faced by new mothers in the early postpartum period: an analysis of comment data from the 2000 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS) Survey.
        Matern Child Health J. 2007; 11: 549-558
        • Garcia J.
        ‘Is there anything else you would like to tell us?’ Methodological issues in the use of free text comments from postal surveys.
        Qual Quant. 2004; 38: 113-125https://doi.org/10.1023/B:QUQU.0000019394.78970.df
        • Australian Institute of Health Welfare
        2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey: indicator results.
        AIHW, Canberra2011
        • Burns E.
        • Fenwick J.
        • Sheehan A.
        • Schmied V.
        Mining for liquid gold: midwifery language and practices associated with early breastfeeding support.
        Matern Child Nutr. 2013; 9: 57-73
        • Sheehan A.
        • Schmied V.
        • Barclay L.
        Women's experiences of infant feeding support in the first 6 weeks postnatal.
        Matern Child Nutr. 2009; 5: 138-150
        • Zadoroznyj M.
        Postnatal care in the community: report of an evaluation of birthing women's assessments of a postnatal home-care programme.
        Health Soc Care Commun. 2007; 15: 35-44
        • Schmied V.
        • Cooke M.
        • Gutwein R.
        • Steinlein E.
        • Homer C.
        An evaluation of strategies to improve the quality and content of hospital-based postnatal care in a metropolitan Australian hospital.
        J Clin Nurs. 2009; 18: 1850-1861
        • Demirtas B.
        Strategies to support breastfeeding: a review.
        Int Nurs Rev. 2012; 59: 474-481
        • Hauck Y.
        • Fenwick J.
        • Dhaliwal S.
        • Butt J.
        • Schmied V.
        The association between women's perceptions of professional support and problems experienced on breastfeeding cessation: a Western Australian study.
        J Hum Lact. 2011; 27: 49-57
        • Hoddinott P.
        • Pill R.
        A qualitative study of women's views about how health professionals communicate about infant feeding.
        Health Expect. 2000; 34: 224-233
        • McInerney P.
        • Langton D.
        Best practice information sheet: women's perceptions and experiences of breastfeeding support.
        Nurs Health Sci. 2012; 14: 133-135
        • Montalto S.A.
        • Borg H.
        • Buttigieg-Said M.
        • Clemmer E.J.
        Incorrect advice: the most significant negative determinant on breastfeeding in Malta.
        Midwifery. 2010; 26: e6-e13
        • McLachlan H.
        • Gold L.
        • Forster D.
        • Yelland J.
        • Rayner J.
        • Rayner S.
        Women's views of postnatal care in the context of the increasing pressure on postnatal beds in Australia.
        Women Birth. 2009; 22: 128-133
        • Bernstein H.H.
        • Spino C.
        • Baker A.
        • Slora E.
        • Touloukian C.L.
        • McCormick M.C.
        Postpartum discharge: do varying perceptions of readiness impact health outcomes?.
        Ambul Pediatr. 2002; 2: 388-394
        • Bernstein H.H.
        • Spino C.
        • Finch S.
        • Wasserman R.
        • Slora E.
        • Lalama C.
        • et al.
        Decision-making for postpartum discharge of 4300 mothers and their healthy infants: the life around newborn discharge study.
        Pediatrics. 2007; 120: e391-e400
        • Young P.C.
        • Korgenski K.
        • Buchi K.F.
        Early readmission of newborns in a large health care system.
        Pediatrics. 2013; 131: e1538-e1544
        • Prosser S.
        • Miller Y.
        • Armanasco A.
        • Hennegan J.
        • Porter J.
        • Thompson R.
        Findings from the having a baby in Queensland Survey.
        Queensland Centre for Mothers & Babies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD2012
        • World Health Organization and UNICEF
        Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative: revised, updated and expanded for integrated care. Section 4, hospital self-appraisal and monitoring.
        WHO and UNICEF, Geneva2009 (Available from: http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/file/BFHI_2009_s4.pdf (accessed 08.06.12))
        • Hauck Y.
        • Graham-Smith C.
        • McInerney J.
        • Kay S.
        Western Australian women's perceptions of conflicting advice around breast feeding.
        Midwifery. 2011; 27: e156-e162