What type of information do parents need after being discharged directly from the delivery ward?
Early discharge normally means that mother and infant are discharged from the hospital between six hours and three days after delivery. Early discharge with home-visits after normal delivery was introduced at Uppsala University Hospital in 1990. Seventeen percent of the women who gave birth in 2003 in Uppsala used the home-care option as an alternative to postnatal care at the hospital. The homevisiting midwives use a checklist to give and gain information about the health of the child and mother and about how breast-feeding is going. The purpose of this study was to examine the parents’ need of information after early discharge after delivery and to compare their needs with the information given according to the checklist for home-visits. Forty-two couples completed the study. They were asked to formulate five questions to the midwife at the home-visit. After the questions were gathered, a content-analysis was done. Three different main groups
were identified: questions concerning 1) the child (68%) such as hygiene, bowel movements, burping, vomiting, eating, sleeping and sneezing 2) breast-feeding (21%) questions were asked about position while breast-feeding, nipples and amount of milk 3) the mother (11%) questions concerned afterpains, stitches, eating and drinking. The results show that the checklist worked sufficiently well as a work tool, but can be adjusted further according to the parents’ need. This study shows that they needed more information about the care of the infant, primarily concerning hygiene.
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