Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Patricia W. Underwood

Second Advisor

Cynthia P. Coviak

Third Advisor

Sandra E. Portko


The purpose of this study was to describe the needs and concerns that low income women experience during the first seven days at home following discharge from a postpartum hospital stay of less than forty-eight hours. Dorothea Orem's theory of self-care was the conceptual framework.; The sample (n = 50) consisted of Medicaid eligible postpartum mothers, 18 years of age or older, who were discharged with their infants in less than 48 hours after delivery. The mothers were contacted by telephone seven days after discharge to complete an interview regarding concerns they might have experienced.; Data were analyzed descriptively. The top three categories of concerns were: self-care, infant care, and infant feeding. Mothers who expressed the most concerns had other children to care for or were breastfeeding their infants, and also contacted the healthcare provider most often during the first seven days postpartum.; The findings indicate the need to assess the individual needs of mothers and anticipate that support may be necessary for some mothers in the postpartum period. Further research needs to be conducted looking at the relationship of needs to availability of support in the postpartum period.


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