Interventions to reduce postpartum stress in first-time mothers: A randomized-controlled trial

Hibah Osman, Matilda Saliba, Monique Chaaya, Georges Naasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The postpartum period can be a challenging time particularly for first-time mothers. This study aimed to assess two different interventions designed to reduce stress in the postpartum among first-time mothers. Methods: Healthy first-time mothers with healthy newborns were recruited from hospitals in Beirut, Lebanon after delivery. The two interventions were a 20-minute film addressing common stressors in the postpartum period and a 24-hour telephone support hotline. Participants were randomized to one of four study arms to receive either the postpartum support film, the hotline service, both interventions, or a music CD (control). Participants were interviewed at eight to twelve weeks postpartum for assessment of levels of stress as measured by the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10). Results: Of the 632 eligible women, 552 (88%) agreed to participate in the study. Of those, 452 (82%) completed the study. Mean PSS-10 scores of mothers who received the film alone (15.76) or the film with the hotline service (15.86) were significantly lower than that of the control group (18.93) (p-value < 0.01). Among mothers who received the hotline service alone mean PSS-10 score (16.98) was also significantly lower than that of the control group (p-value < 0.05). Conclusions: Both our postpartum support film and the 24-hour telephone hotline service reduced stress in the postpartum period in first-time mothers. These simple interventions can be easily implemented and could have an important impact on the mental wellbeing of new mothers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
JournalBMC Women's Health
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Film
  • Hotlines
  • Intervention studies
  • Postpartum
  • Stress

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