2008 Volume 22 Issue 1 Pages 25-36
The purpose of this study was to clarify the nature of mother's distress and its related factors resulting from the crying of her one-month-old infant.
Subjects and Methods
The subjects were mothers who delivered children in hospitals/maternity clinics in the Hokuriku district and who gave consent to our survey at the time of health examinations for one-month-old infants. The contents of the questionnaire were: characteristics of the infant's crying, states of mother's sleep, feeding and receiving support related to her distress about her infant and its associated factors. Scores were obtained using a 4-point Likert scale.
Effective responses were obtained from 630 mothers, who consisted of 298 primiparas (47.3%) and 332 multiparas (52.7%). About 50% of the mothers experienced distress because they felt at a loss when their infant cried and when the infant did not stop crying even when being held or lulled. New mothers who had no experience with infants were more likely to indicate distress. The distress was significantly associated with factors such as the way the infant cried and if the infant failed to fall asleep in a timely way. It also was associated with factors in the mother's life such as feeling burdened with childcare and lack of confidence in childcare.
In order to support mothers having a one-month-old infant, it is important to pay attention to the characteristics of infant's crying, states of mother's fatigue, mother's expression of depression, and to know how mother comprehends childcare and her infant's crying. For screening to be effective it must include both infant and mother factors.