Comparing postpartum stressors and social support level in primiparous and multiparous women


1 Lecturer, Department of Midwifery, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad , Iran.

2 Graduate, MSc in Midwifery, Nursing & Midwifery, North Khorasan university of medical sciences, bojnurd, Iran

3 PhD student in Nursing; Lecturer, Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Depratment of Psychology, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


Background and aim: Postpartum period is an exclusive period after birth which can act as a potential stressor and could be accompanied with psychological disorders. Social support could play an important role in maternal mental health. Considering various stressors and different levels of social support for women, this study aimed to compare postpartum stressors as well as social support level between primiparous and multiparous women.
Method: This descriptive comparative study was conducted on 400 primiparous and multiparous mothers who referred to urban health centers, Mashhad, Iran in 2011. They had no history of medical or psychological problems and had healthy term neonates who were 8-25 days old. The sampling was carried out through a multistage cluster sampling. Data were collected using modified Hung questionnaire of postpartum stressors, Helen questionnaire of anxiety and Hopkins social support questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive analytic statistics by SPSS version 11.
Results: The mean stress scores were 242.5±157.1 in primiparous and 28.8±179.8 in multiparous women. The main stressor of primiparous and multiparous women was neonate bathing and lower-back pain, respectively. The mean score of social support was 108.3±8.25 in the primiparous and 102.0±26.6 in multiparous women, which showed a significant difference between two groups (P=0.000).
Conclusion: Various care programs are essential to support primiparous and multiparous mothers from different stressors that they face in postpartum period. It is also recommended to provid more information regarding the social support for the families.