Journal of Japan Academy of Midwifery
Online ISSN : 1882-4307
Print ISSN : 0917-6357
ISSN-L : 0917-6357
The mental and physical health of older primiparas and couples' awareness of wives' satisfaction with their husbands' support in one and three months after childbirth
Kumiko NAKAJIMAYuko HAYAKAWAAtsumi USUI
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JOURNAL FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: JJAM-2020-0039

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aimed to clarify the mental and physical health of older primiparas as well as couples' awareness of wives' satisfaction with husbands' support in one and three months after childbirth.

Methods

This study had a qualitative research design. The participants were eight older primiparous couples. Self-administered questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were conducted to clarify the mental and physical health of older primiparas as well as couples' awareness of wives' satisfaction with the support in one and three months after childbirth. The data were analyzed qualitatively and inductively.

Results

The following categories were identified similarities and differences of couples' awareness regarding the mental and physical health of the older primiparas in one month after childbirth: “Delayed physical and mental recovery due to pregnancy and childbirth” and “Feelings of physical and mental burden for having to adapt to the unfamiliar lifestyle of childrearing and the schedule of raising children”. The following categories were identified in three months: “Chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue due to older age”, “Breastfeeding suitable for mothers and children and stable life rhythm” and “Higher mental capacity due to older age.”

The following categories were identified for couples' awareness of wives' satisfaction with husbands' support in one month after childbirth: “Support of wife's physical and mental health due to unfamiliar and irregular parenting”, “Collaboration in housework and parenting through trial and error” and “Husband's attitude as a father developed through childcare”. The following categories were identified in three months after childbirth: “Support of the wife's physical and mental health based on a stable life rhythm and the wife's mental capacity”, “Stable housework and childcare cooperation” and “Husband's attitude as a father developed through childcare”.

Conclusions

Older primiparas felt a delay of physical and mental recovery and childcare burden in one month after childbirth. In three months after childbirth, they recognized chronic sleep deprivation and fatigue due to older age, stability of childcare and life rhythm and higher mental capacity due to older age. Similarities and differences of couples' awareness about husbands' support for their wives' satisfaction were clarified: support for the wife's physical and mental health, the couple's cooperation in housework and childcare, and the husband's attitude as a father. In particular, the support for the wife's physical and mental health was recognized as different awareness of the couple. Therefore, it was difficult for the husband's support to reach a consensus between the couple. In order to maintain the physical and mental health of the older primipara, it was important to increase the husbands' support with wives' satisfaction by sufficient couple communications and share consciousness.

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© 2021 Japan Academy of Midwifery
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