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Experiences of parenthood and parental support during the child's first year
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Health Sciences, Nursing Care.
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this licentiate thesis was to describe parents' experiences of parenthood, mothers' experiences of being separated from their newborns, and also mothers' experiences of an intervention to provide parental support. Data were collected through a review of the literature (I) and through tape-recorded narrative interviews with mothers (II, III). The data were analysed using a qualitative thematic content analysis (I, III) and a phenomenological hermeneutic interpretation (II) respectively. Being a parent during the child's first year was experienced as overwhelming. Mothers felt satisfaction and confidence, but also strain of various kinds. The sources of this strain lay in having the principal responsibility for the child, struggling with having limited time for oneself, and being tired and drained of energy. In addition to being confident as a father and as a partner, men also felt that living up to the new demands was a strain, and that being prevented from establishing a closeness to the child was hurtful. Men saw themselves as the family protector and provider. Mothers' narratives about their separation from their newborn during their first week of life, as a result of transfer to a neonatal intensive-care unit, revealed that their experiences had caused them emotional strain and anxiety accompanied by pain and grief, but also a feeling of closeness and care. A feeling of being an outsider was expressed as loss, grief and distress. The mothers felt powerless when prevented from taking responsibility for their newborn, and worried and afraid that something serious was going to happen. Feelings of love, gratitude, intense closeness, and the joy inspired by their newborn occurred in those moments when the mothers had their children with them. Mothers' experiences of receiving parental support through the medium of electronic encounters showed that they felt that sharing experiences with others was supportive and that having new friends reduced their feeling of loneliness. The technology was experienced as fun and exciting, but the mothers were disturbed by noise problems and gradually by the presence of the infant. The opportunity to meet other mothers in the same situation via electronic encounters, and to share the experiences of being a mother seemed to facilitate everyday life for these mothers. This study can be understood as a description of the process of becoming a mother and of the concepts of transition and confirmation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2004. , 57 p.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757 ; 2004:36
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26149Local ID: cdfc0320-aef4-11db-803d-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:999308
Upplevelse av föräldraskap och föräldrastöd under barnet första år
Godkänd; 2004; 20061108 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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