Recovery from childbirth: looking back 6 months after delivery

Health Care Women Int. 1991 Jul-Sep;12(3):341-50. doi: 10.1080/07399339109515956.


Women's perceptions of their recovery from childbirth were investigated by open-ended interviews of 96 mothers of health, full-term infants 6 months after delivery. Data included factors affecting physical, mental, and emotional recovery; sources of help and hindrance; ideas of what each women would do differently after the delivery of another child; and overall evaluation of how the months after delivery compared with expectations. Content analysis of the data revealed that 25% of the women did not feel physically recovered from childbirth at 6 months postpartum. Husbands and other family members were major sources of help. Prolonged labor and cesarean delivery were the major hindrances to recovery. More household and child-care help was desired after delivery of another child. Almost half of the women found the first 6 months after delivery more difficult than anticipated. The findings suggest that pregnant women need more information about lifestyle adjustments after childbirth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Postpartum Period / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Set, Psychology
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires