The Early Postpartum Experience of Previously Infertile Mothers

Sigrid Ladores, Karen Aroian
2015 Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing  
The lived experiences of previously infertile mothers in the early postpartum period have not been previously studied. The purpose of the research was to explore the experiences of previously infertile mothers during their early postpartum period. approach to descriptive phenomenological inquiry was used to analyze the interview data obtained from twelve first-time, previously infertile mothers. These new mothers, aged 27 to 43 years, were interviewed twice. The first interview focused on
more » ... ing descriptions of new motherhood in the early postpartum period after overcoming infertility. The second interview validated the interpretations from the first interview and provided additional information and reflection. Two main themes emerged that described the early postpartum experience of first-time, previously infertile mothers: 1) Lingering Identity as Infertile; and 2) Gratitude for the Gift of Motherhood. Participants reported that their lingering identity as infertile and immense gratitude for the gift of motherhood propelled them to establish unrealistic expectations to be the perfect mother. When they were unable to live up to being the perfect mother, they censored their feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and shame. Findings from this study sensitize healthcare providers to the difficulties faced by previously infertile women during their transition to motherhood. iv This dissertation is dedicated to my husband, Andrew, who supported me through each challenge, obstacle, and victory; my son, Asher, who is my very own miracle and who makes me a better person every day; my parents, Jose and Elma, who instilled in me the importance of higher education; and the many infertile women whose strength to achieve their dream of motherhood inspired me to take on this life-changing journey. v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My deepest gratitude goes to my committee chair and mentor, Dr. Karen Aroian, whose relentless drive for excellence kept me focused throughout my dissertation. Your unwavering support, encouragement, and advocacy will not be forgotten. I hope to inspire other students the same way that you inspired me. I am truly grateful for the talented and brilliant women who comprised my dissertation
doi:10.1111/1552-6909.12576 pmid:25866019 fatcat:7g7gz2v7kzetpe2fgo7l4awwlq