“I Didn't Know What to Ask About”: First-Time Mothers' Conceptions of Prenatal Preparation for the Early Parenthood Period

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The aim of this phenomenographic study was to describe first-time mothers' conceptions of prenatal preparation for the early parenthood period in relation to their experiences of early parenthood. Eighteen first-time mothers were interviewed approximately 1 month after giving birth. The categories identified in the analysis were: accessing appropriate sources of support, gaining knowledge to form realistic expectations, and mobilizing and strengthening personal resources. First-time mothers want health professionals to actively address postnatal issues as they have difficulties in knowing prenatally what knowledge will prepare them for early parenthood. Both professional and peer support during pregnancy were conceived as important for gaining knowledge. Professionals can support by guidance to reliable sources of information and encouraging personal reflections and partner communication.

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