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Family nursing, Postpartum period, Maternal-child nursing, Breastfeeding



  1. Mantha, Shannon MScN, RN
  2. Davies, Barbara PhD, RN
  3. Moyer, Alwyn PhD, RN
  4. Crowe, Katherine BScN, RN


Purpose: To describe new mothers' experiences with family-centered maternity care in relation to their confidence level and to determine how care could have been more responsive to their needs.


Study Design and Methods: Using data from a prospective Canadian survey of 596 postpartum women, a subsample of women with low and high confidence (N = 74) was selected. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and content analysis.


Results: Women with both high and low confidence expressed negative experiences with similar frequency (n = 47/74, 64%). Women wanted more nursing support for breastfeeding and postpartum teaching and education. Women who reported a language other than English or French as their first language were significantly less confident than English- and French-speaking women (p < .05).


Clinical Implications: A multilevel framework about family-centered care is presented for healthcare providers in prenatal, labor and birth, and postpartum care. It is recommended that nurses ask new mothers about their confidence level and give special consideration to cultural background in order to provide supportive care in hospital and community settings.