Support during Pregnancy as an Influencing Factor on the Transition to Parenthood

Christine McKee, Peta Stapleton, Aileen Pidgeon

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This study was the first of four within a Ph.D. program of research which examined factors that were perceived to be important considerations when designing, developing, and delivering pre- and perinatal (PPN) parenting programs for the 21st Century. In this research, 54 mothers and seven fathers (N=61) who had attended a PPN parenting program, completed an online questionnaire that examined program content strengths, gaps, and limitations. Braun and Clarke's (2006) thematic analysis was undertaken and revealed that "support during pregnancy" was a topic deemed to be important when assessing PPN parenting programs; as consistent with the literature, a lack of support was a commonly reported cause of stress for expecting parents during the time of pregnancy. Whilst some research advocates that existing programs mitigate these concerns, the current research did not concur. The findings add to the literature in PPN psychology by highlighting a wide range of topics identified as being essential content for future PPN parenting programs. As a result, a range of PPN parenting programs can be developed and then measured for effectiveness through pre and post-test randomized clinical trials utilizing large sample sizes and control groups. It is predicted that outcomes may result in sustainable PPN care, positive parenting post birth, needs-based inclusion of fathers, and supported transition for couples into parenthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-127
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


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