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Mothers' Perception of Confidence with Self-Care and Infant Care

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Considering the limited amount of time for postpartum stays, mothers may not acquire sufficient knowledge and experience to comfortably care for themselves and their infant until they are home. It is not known how confident mothers are at the time of hospital discharge or how confident they will feel after a couple of weeks at home. A convenience sample of 104 postpartum women, 16 to 44 years of age, participated in a study to determine mothers' confidence with self-care and infant care in the hospital and 2 weeks after discharge. Confidence with self- and infant care was measured using the Maternal and Infant Care Confidence Scale (MICCS). Findings indicated that mothers' perceived confidence with self-care and infant care skills was significantly greater at home than in the hospital. Specifically, primiparas were significantly more confident at home with the exception of skills related to nutrition, activity, car seat and safety, and recognizing signs of infection in the infant. Multiparas were significantly more confident at home with all aspects of care with the exception of skills concerning nutrition. Implications for using the MICCS to develop a plan of care based on mothers' confidence needs are discussed.

Keywords: confidence; infant care; postpartum; self-care

Document Type: Standard Article


Affiliations: MINNA KAPP is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University in Brookville, New York.

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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