The experiences of early postpartum Shenzhen mothers and their need for home visit services: A qualitative exploratory study

Xiao Xiao, Fei Wan Ngai, She Ning Zhu, Alice Yuen Loke

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The early postpartum period is the most stressful period for a new mother, who is assuming new roles and responsibilities in life, and must deal with the demands from her newborn baby and her own care needs. Little is known about whether the current postnatal care services provided by hospitals and community centers meet the needs of women. The aim of this study was to identify the experiences of women in Shenzhen and the problems that they encountered during the first 6 weeks after giving birth; and to explore their expressed needs with regard to postnatal care services. Methods: This is a qualitative exploratory study. Data were collected in November 2018 through in-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews. A purposive sample was recruited from a tertiary maternal hospital in Shenzhen, China. The dataset was analyzed using content analysis. Results: Twenty-two mothers were interviewed during their postpartum body check on the 30th or 42nd day after giving birth. Six themes were identified: "the self-care needs of women," "proficiency in infant care," "involvement of family in postpartum and infant care," "family conflicts over postpartum and infant care," "preparing for the transition to parenthood/grandparenthood," and "the need for comprehensive postpartum home visit services." Conclusions: The concerns expressed by the women during the postpartum period were related to their need to recover physically and to their desire to be perceived as proficient in infant care. Support from husbands and grandmothers could facilitate or impede a woman's transition to motherhood, and the family's transition to parenthood/grandparenthood. There were disagreements arising from intergenerational beliefs about postpartum and child care. In providing postpartum care services to women in situations where the family is involved in their care, health professionals should consider the family as a whole.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalBMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2019


  • Intergenerational conflicts
  • Postpartum care
  • Social support
  • Transition to parenthood/grandparenthood
  • Women's needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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