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Parenting Confidence and Needs for Parents of Newborns in Taiwan

Keywords: Parenting confidence , Parenting needs , Postpartum , Newborns

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Objective: Parenting confidence with regards to caring for their infants is crucial for the healthy adaptation to parenthood and the development of positive parent-infant relationships. The postpartum period is a tremendous transitional time for parents, so their unique needs should be considered. This study explored parenting confidence and needs in parents when their newborns are discharged from hospital, and explored the best predictors of parenting confidence and needs.Methods: A cross-sectional design with a questionnaire survey was used in this study. The questionnaire included three parts: Demographic, Parenting Needs and Parenting Confidence Questionnaire. We survey a convenience sample of 96 parents from a postnatal ward and a neonatal intermediate care unit of the medical central hospital in Taichung, Taiwan.Findings: The mean age of the subjects was 32 years and 67.7% of the subjects’ education level was college or above. Approximately one half of the subjects was multiparous, vaginal delivery and had planned pregnancy.The mean gestational age and birth weight of the newborns was 37.7 weeks and 2902 g, respectively. Parentswho had a planned pregnancy (t=2.1, P=0.04) or preterm infants (t=2.0, P=0.046) and those whose infants were delivered by cesarean section (t=2.2, P=0.03) had higher parenting needs. In addition, parents of low birth weight infants had higher parenting needs (r=-0.23, P=0.02). Regarding parenting confidence, multiparaparents perceived higher confidence than primipara parents (t=2.9, P=0.005). Needs in psychosocial support were significantly correlated with parenting confidence (r=0.21, P<0.05). The stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that parity and needs in psychosocial support predict parenting confidence of 13.8%variance.Conclusion: The findings of this study help care providers to identify parents with low parenting confidence at an early postpartum stage. Health care teams should provide appropriate psychosocial support and health education based on parents needs.

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