Stress, social support and health status among postpartum women in an urban and a rural area of Thailand
Background: The birth of an infant can represent additional, financial and emotional stress. Lack of social support negatively impacts these women’s ability to cope with already difficult circumstances after childbirth. Poorer health care for the postpartum women may be the consequence of deficient understanding. It is thus interesting to know how stress and lack of social support affects the health status among postpartum women.
Aim: The aim was to describe stress, social support and health status among postpartum women, and also to compare the situations between women in an urban and a rural area of Thailand.
Method: A descriptive comparative cross sectional study with a quantitative method was used. 160 women from Bangkok and Ayutthaya, Thailand answered a questionnaire, which was divided into four parts; background, postpartum stress, health status and social support.
Result: The perceived stress was in general low. They had a large amount of social support; the most important support was received by partners and parents. They perceived a good postpartum health status. No significant difference was shown between the two areas regarding the total score of stress, social support and health status.
Conclusion: In total the Thai postpartum women were exposed to a low amount of stressors. They had a good postpartum wellbeing and received a high level of social support.
Clinical Implications: To enable care in a more holistic approach, improvement in detecting postpartum stressors and to encourage social support in the postpartum period, will reduce postpartum stress and prevent a better health status.
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