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Contraceptive practices before conception and after the birth of a child with a chronic health problem

Contraceptive practices before conception and after the birth of a child with a chronic health problem

Health Care for Women International 15(1): 43-51

In a US Midwest urban area, nurse researchers compared data on 50 mother-father dyads of healthy infants with data on 20 mothers and 17 fathers of infants at risk for apnea (ARFA) to learn their contraceptive practices, family functioning, marital satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and future fertility preferences. By 12 months, none of the ARFA infants needed the apnea monitor. Mothers of healthy infants were significantly more likely to be satisfied with their marriage than ARFA mothers at 6 and 12 months (p = .031 and .004, respectively). In fact, between 6 and 12 months, marital satisfaction decreased considerably for ARFA mothers (p = .027). Parents of healthy infants had just slightly more sexual satisfaction than ARFA parents at 6 and 12 months. Contraceptives varied significantly between the 2 groups (p + .027). At 6 months, ARFA mothers accepted oral contraceptives (OCs) (42%) significantly more often than any other contraceptive method. In fact, between preconception and the postpartum period, OC use for this group increased 24%. Just 2 mothers of healthy infants at 6 months and none at 12 months used OCs. Parents of healthy infants were more likely to use condoms than ARFA parents (28% vs. 10%). Little difference existed between the 2 groups in use of diaphragms (20% for healthy and 27% for ARFA). Mothers of healthy infants were more likely to use contraception prior to conception of index infant the ARFA mothers (72% vs. 40%). At 12 months, ARFA parents who received emotional support from their spouses and who were more satisfied with their marriage were significantly more likely to not use contraceptives than those who did not receive support and were unsatisfied with their marriages. This relationship did not exist for parents of healthy infants. These findings support the need for health providers to help families learn how an infant affects the family as well as the parental relationship, so they can arrange for appropriate counseling, including contraception counseling.

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Accession: 045638194

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8169168

DOI: 10.1080/07399339409516093

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