Learning about baby: What new mothers would like to know

Publication Date



As part of a larger research project to evaluate a new model of care for first-time mothers in a community health-care setting, this study aimed to identify the preparation and information needs of first-time mothers. All first-time mothers attending a selection of community child health centers in Brisbane, Australia, who presented with no overt risk factors and with a thriving child, were invited to participate in the study. Three months after mothers entered the service, data were collected via telephone survey (N = 151). In addition, focus group interviews were conducted 7–9 months following entry to the service (n = 8). Participants reported seeking information from a variety of sources during pregnancy. Few participants felt well prepared for managing either the physical or emotional experience of early mothering or the essential maternal and child health issues and common problems in the early months. Findings suggest that current approaches to care and education may not meet the needs of first-time mothers. Different approaches are suggested to enhance women's maternal competence during the first few months of becoming a new mother.


School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine

Document Type

Journal Article

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ERA Access