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Blessings and Curses: Exploring the Experiences of New Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Department of Applied Human Nutrition, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, NS B3M 2J6, Canada
School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
Rankin School of Nursing, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5, Canada
School of Nursing, Abadan Faculty of Medical Sciences, Abadan, Iran
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 November 2020 / Revised: 11 December 2020 / Accepted: 15 December 2020 / Published: 21 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nursing and COVID-19)
The aim of this study was to explore the postpartum experiences of new parents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The postpartum period can be a time of significant transition, both positive and negative, for parents as they navigate new relationships with their babies and shifts in family dynamics. Physical distancing requirements mandated by public health orders during the COVID-19 pandemic had the potential to create even more stress for parents with a newborn. Examining personal experiences would provide health care professionals with information to help guide support during significant isolation. Feminist poststructuralism guided the qualitative research process. Sixty-eight new mothers completed an open-ended on-line survey. Responses were analyzed using discourse analysis to examine the beliefs, values, and practices of the participants relating to their family experiences during the pandemic period. It was found that pandemic isolation was a time of complexity with both ‘blessings and curses’. Participants reported that it was a time for family bonding and enjoyment of being a new parent without the usual expectations. It was also a time of missed opportunities as they were not able to share milestones and memories with extended family. Caring for a newborn during the COVID-19 pandemic where complex contradictions were constructed by competing social discourses created difficult dichotomies for families. In acknowledging the complex experiences of mothers during COVID-19 isolation, nurses and midwives can come to understand and help new parents to focus on the blessings of this time while acknowledging the curses. View Full-Text
Keywords: family; bonding; COVID-19; mother; post-partum family; bonding; COVID-19; mother; post-partum
MDPI and ACS Style

Joy, P.; Aston, M.; Price, S.; Sim, M.; Ollivier, R.; Benoit, B.; Akbari-Nassaji, N.; Iduye, D. Blessings and Curses: Exploring the Experiences of New Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Nurs. Rep. 2020, 10, 207-219.

AMA Style

Joy P, Aston M, Price S, Sim M, Ollivier R, Benoit B, Akbari-Nassaji N, Iduye D. Blessings and Curses: Exploring the Experiences of New Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Nursing Reports. 2020; 10(2):207-219.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Joy, Phillip, Megan Aston, Sheri Price, Meaghan Sim, Rachel Ollivier, Britney Benoit, Neda Akbari-Nassaji, and Damilola Iduye. 2020. "Blessings and Curses: Exploring the Experiences of New Mothers during the COVID-19 Pandemic" Nursing Reports 10, no. 2: 207-219.

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