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Online Resources for New Mothers: Opportunities and Challenges for Perinatal Health Professionals

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Studies have shown increasing Internet use for health information and service facilities. After consulting a convenience sample of new mothers, this study applied select terms and phrases to a widely accepted search engine and investigated its potential for providing resources for new mothers. Results of this quantitative content analysis showed that only four of the 13 phrases used in the search generated 50% or more websites containing content relevant to new mothers. Findings indicate that informational support by way of electronic fact sheets is available using the Google search engine. However, functional support (e.g., social networks, consultation phone details, and mother‐infant activities) configured limited data resources using the Google search engine. In addition, because websites can be difficult to navigate, users’ technical proficiency needs to be taken into consideration as well as the sites’ up-to-date information. With Internet technology rapidly expanding, perinatal educators and other perinatal health-care professionals need to be informed about current online resources to help direct consumers to useful online resources and mitigate the often overwhelming and confusing information.
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Keywords: Internet; childbirth education; new mothers; perinatal health professionals; transition to parenthood

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Public Health and Human Biosciences at La Trobe University in Melbourne (Bundoora), Victoria, Australia

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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