Background: Current research suggests that women married to military service members may experience difficulty during the transition to motherhood attributable to the additional stressors of military life and inability to access traditional support systems. Objective: To test the effects of a nursing intervention on prenatal and postpartum maternal role adaptation among military wives. Methods: Primigravid military wives were assigned randomly to either a traditional childbirth education program (n = 47) or Baby Boot Camp (n = 44). The Baby Boot Camp is a 4-week childbirth-parenting preparation program based on a resilience paradigm. The strategies of Baby Boot Camp include identification of nontraditional external resources and development of internal resources to facilitate maternal role adaptation. The Prenatal Self-Evaluation Questionnaire, Personal Resource Questionnaire, and Resilience Scale were administered at baseline (32 to 37 weeks gestation), immediately after the intervention, and at 6 weeks postpartum. Results: The outcomes suggest that Baby Boot Camp strategies to enhance external and internal resources may have been successful in facilitating maternal role adaptation. An independent t-test showed that, as compared with the military wives who attended traditional childbirth education courses, the Baby Boot Camp participants experienced significantly greater prenatal and postpartum adaptation. As demonstrated by repeated measure analysis of variance, the Baby Boot Camp participants experienced an increase in external and internal resources immediately after the intervention. However, these differences in resources were not sustained at 6 weeks postpartum. Conclusions: The findings may lead to wider development and use of childbirth-parenting programs designed to meet the unique strengths and needs of the childbearing military wife.
- Maternal role
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