Health and wellness of the postpartum woman based

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University of Alabama Libraries

More than 80 percent of women in the United States will become pregnant and give birth to one or more children and many will experience pregnancy complications that can inhibit postpartum success. Research suggests that proper maternal care should be given prior to, during and after pregnancy. In order to assist in the reduction of maternal risks, identify problem areas in the health and wellness of postpartum women and train healthcare professionals to provide proper assistance and postpartum advice, there must first be an understanding of the needs of a postpartum woman. And, in order to effectively provide care for these postpartum women, knowledge must be gained regarding expectations of the postpartum period. A large problem with postpartum health and wellness lies in the educational focus during pregnancy. Because the media has been suggested to play a substantial role in the development of individual and cultural perceptions and expectations, this study examined health beliefs and expectations as they are fostered through mediated representations of pregnancy and the postpartum period. By assessing the opinions and expectations of 343 postpartum women, this study details ways in which the media, and other factors, influence the health and wellness of postpartum women. Significant findings from this study suggest that personal health beliefs (p = .000), body image (p = .028), mediated representations of pregnancy (p = .039) and pregnancy related education (p = .002) are related to the health and wellness of postpartum women. This study suggests that being knowledgeable of the realities of the postpartum period can positively impact the success of the postpartum period; thus, confirming the necessity of not only postpartum education, but also improvement in postpartum care. A better understanding of the false expectations influencing success in the postpartum period will allow the opportunity to provide better postpartum care as women prepare for the realities of the postpartum period and the transition to motherhood. Better care will provide a greater chance of increasing the health and wellness of postpartum women as they prepare for positive behavior changes necessary to achieve success in the postpartum period.

Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Communication, Health sciences