Our very own Dr. Powell has been published! Her collaborative work entitled, “A Longitudinal Examination of Mothers’ Early Postnatal Adaptation: Relative Stability Across the First Eight Weeks” was published just last week after a review period of two years. Dr. Powell has definitely earned our congratulations both for her achievement, and her patience! Please read the abstract below, or view the article here.
Using person-centered analyses, this study examined the trajectories of women’s early postnatal adaptation and explored whether there were differences in their trajectories based on women’s status as a first-time or more experienced mother.
Data were collected from women (N = 137; Mage = 28.6 years, SD = 4.49; 48.2% first-time mothers) at 2-, 4-, 6-, and 8-weeks postpartum. At each wave of data collection, mothers reported on their parenting self-efficacy, parenting satisfaction, anxiety, parenting stress, and depressive feelings.
The creation of an amalgamated measure of postnatal adaptation demonstrated acceptable fit. Latent class growth analysis revealed four distinct trajectories of postnatal adaptation; two revealed stability across the early postnatal period and two had relative stability except for a change between weeks four to six. Women’s parity was not associated with differences in their trajectories.
Conclusions for Practice
These findings reiterate the importance of collecting data from women in the early postnatal period and identifying if a woman is struggling in those early weeks, as the women in our sample demonstrated relative stability in their postnatal adaptation across the first eight weeks. Furthermore, the findings suggest that work should be taken to dismantle the commonly held belief that parenting is “easier” after having already navigated the early postnatal period with an infant once before.
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