"The Study of Parental Support" is a research project into perceptions of and experience from support given to parents in relation to childbirth. Parents are included in the study in the middle of the pregnancy and are followed the first eight years postpartum.
The participants in the study are first-time mothers, their partners and midwives working with parental support. The "Study of Parental Support" is a collaboration project between the University of Skövde, The Labor and Postnatal Ward at Skövde Skaraborg Hospital and Antenatal Clinics Skövde, Region Västra Götaland.
The "Study of Parental Support" relies on both qualitative and quantitative data and involves first-time mothers, their partners as well as midwives.
In the qualitative part of the study first-time mothers and their partners perceptions of professional support during the pregnancy as well as their experiences of social support during the pregnancy are examined. In addition, midwives’ experiences from providing parental support are studied.
Research results show that professional parental support facilitates parents' sense of preparedness ahead of childbirth and parenthood as well as contributes to a greater sense of togetherness among the parental couple.
The quantitative part of the "Study of Parental support" is constituted by a prospective longitudinal survey where first-time mothers and their partners are followed during pregnancy and for the first eight years postpartum.
The survey collects data regarding professional/social support, birth outcome, birth experience, breastfeeding, parent-child relationship and sense of coherence.
Research results show that the perceived quality of the couple's relation decreases for six months postpartum and at the same time their sense of coherence increases. A higher social support and sense of coherence and preparedness for parenthood is connected to a higher perceived quality in the couple relation six months postpartum.
The "Study of Parental Support" was initiated by Caroline Bäckström in 2014 and the data collection is estimated to be completed in 2024.