Couples' experiences with fatigue during the transition to parenthood

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Abstract

The purpose of this longitudinal study was to examine mothers' and fathers' reports of fatigue prior to and after the birth of their first child. Data from 44 couples were collected from the 9th month of the mothers' pregnancy to 4 months postpartum. Both parents' reports of fatigue significantly increased from before to 1 month after the birth of the child, then remained stable. Mothers'and fathers' level of fatigue did not differ after the birth of the child, although fathers experienced a greater change in their reports of fatigue than mothers. Couples always reported less morning fatigue than nighttime fatigue but still reported mild to moderate levels of morning fatigue. At different times, the mother's fatigue was related to her marital satisfaction, depression, income, and maternity leave; the father's fatigue was most often related to his age, income, and depression. Implications for family functioning, nursing assessment, and family interventions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-240
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Family Nursing
Volume8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Community and Home Care
  • Family Practice

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