The Experiences of Socioeconomically Disadvantaged Postpartum Women in the First 4 Weeks at Home

ArticleinQualitative Health Research 19(2):194-206 · February 2009with25 Reads
Impact Factor: 2.19 · DOI: 10.1177/1049732308329310 · Source: PubMed


    We used a qualitative descriptive approach to explore and describe the situated experiences of socioeconomically disadvantaged (SED) postpartum women in the first 4 weeks after hospital discharge. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyze the data from in-depth interviews with 24 SED postpartum women. Two intertwining, overarching themes emerged: (a) the ongoing burden of their day-to-day lives, with subthemes of poverty and material deprivation, stigmatization through living publicly examined lives, and precarious social support; and (b) the ongoing struggles to adjust to changes that came with the baby's arrival, with subthemes of "the first weeks were hard," "feeling out of control," "absence of help at home," "complex relationship with the baby's father," and "health and well-being." Knowledge of SED women's situated experiences is vital to the development of health policies and services that will truly meet their needs.