The Concerns and Interests of Expectant and New Parents: Assessing Learning Needs

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Abstract:

Antenatal education is an important component of antenatal care in the developed world, but research indicates that it may not be meeting consumer needs. This article provides an overview of a needs assessment that aimed to determine the concerns and interests of expectant and new parents and how they prefer to learn during the periods of pregnancy and the early weeks of parenthood. The findings could be used to develop an innovative approach to antenatal education in order to prepare expectant and new parents for the birth experience and the early weeks of parenthood. The current study's results identified that expectant and new parents' concerns and interests during pregnancy, childbirth, and new parenting fall within five interrelated conceptual areas: 1) perceiving achievement or failure; 2) taking on “risk”; 3) riding an emotional “roller coaster” of joy, anxiety, and uncertainty; 4) needing to “know…what is normal”; and 5) needing help to “perform well.”

Keywords: childbirth education; expectant parents; new parents

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1624/105812406X151385

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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