Journal List > Korean J Women Health Nurs > v.8(1) > 1127748

Korean J Women Health Nurs. 2002 Mar;8(1):7-19. Korean.
Published online Jun 04, 2013.
Copyright © 2002 Korean Academy of Women's Health Nursing
Postpartum Health: A comparison of Mothers with Preterm Infants and Mothers with Fullterm Infants
Sukhee Ahn*
*Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing, USA.
Accepted Feb 28, 2002.


This study was to compare mother's postpartum physical health, mental health, and role performance between mothers with fullterm infants and preterm infants over 3 months postpartum period. The study used a correlational and longitudinal design and was secondary data analysis from a large study. A convenience sample of 132 mothers who had fullterm and preterm infants was followed up for 3 times (postpartum 1-2 days, 6 weeks, and 3 months) during the first 3 months postpartum period. Postpartum physical health was assessed by level of fatigue in the morning and in the afternoon, and number of physical symptoms. Postpartum mental health was assessed by positive affect, anxiety, and depression; and postpartum role performance was measured by role functional status. Mothers with preterm infants experienced higher levels of fatigue in the morning, lower positive affect, higher anxiety and higher depression over 3 data collection time points, compared to mothers with fullterm infants. Mothers with preterm infants also resumed lesser self-care activity and social and community activity than the counterparts. It implies that some aspects of preterm birth and caring for preterm infants continue to negatively affect the mother's health outcomes during the postpartum period.

Keywords: Postpartum health; Preterm birth; Physical health; Mental health; Role performance