Online Program

Meeting the needs of women in the perinatal period: A health promotion model

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 5:10 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Jenifer Fahey, MPH, MSN, CNM, Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
Edmond D. Shenassa, ScD, Maternal & Child Health Program, FMSC; Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
The year following childbirth is a time of significant transition for women. In addition to the physiologic changes associated with the return of her body to a non-pregnant state, a woman also undergoes marked psychosocial changes as she transitions into a motherhood role, reestablishes relationships, and works to meets the physical and emotional needs of her infant and other family members. It is a time when women are vulnerable to health problems directly related to childbirth and to compromised self-care, which can be manifest in the development or reestablishment of unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, unhealthy eating, and sedentary lifestyle. In addition to the long-term implications for women, the presence of compromised maternal health in the postpartum is associated with compromised health and developmental outcomes for infants. Ensuring the optimal health of women in this critical time period should, therefore, be a priority of maternal and child health efforts. However, maternal health following birth is a neglected area of health from a clinical, policy and public health perspective. We present a health promotion model as a conceptual framework that represents an expanded understanding of maternal health beyond the absence of medical complications to include not only physical recovery from childbirth, but also ability to meet individual needs and needs of others as well as maternal-role attainment. The model identifies key determinants of maternal health: a woman's ability to mobilize social support, maternal self-efficacy and positive copings strategies and can be used to guide the design and study of interventions for the perinatal period.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
List the common needs of women in the perinatal period. Describe the barriers to health that women experience after the birth of a baby. Define the key skills women must have in order to ensure a healthy perinatal period. Define the factors that enable health-seeking behaviors by women (for themselves and their infants) in the peripartum period.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Certified Nurse Midwife providing care to pregnant women and women in postpartum period. I have been primary author on various textbook chapters and journal articles on topics related to the care of women during the perinatal period. I am interested in models of care that incorporate health promotion as a key aspect of care.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.