Adequacy of social support and satisfaction with life during childbirth
More details
Hide details
Faculty of Health Sciences, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Collegium Medicum in Bydgoszcz, Poland
Submission date: 2015-04-08
Acceptance date: 2016-01-19
Online publication date: 2016-02-28
Publication date: 2020-03-24
Pol. Ann. Med. 2016;23(2):135–140
Pregnancy and childbirth exert a significant impact on the life of women and men. In the situation of childbirth, obtaining satisfactory social support may constitute an important determinant of women's satisfaction with life.

The aim of the paper was to determine whether there exists a difference between social support received by women and social support provided by partners during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and the postpartum period, as well as to discover whether there exists a relationship between social support obtained by women and their life satisfaction.

Material and methods:
The statistical analysis included 199 women in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and 186 of their partners/husbands. The subsequent measurement – in the postpartum period – involved individuals who took part in the first phase: 182 women and 177 partners/husbands.

Results and discussion:
No major discrepancies were observed with regard to informative and emotional social support received by women and provided by their partners during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and the postpartum period. Instrumental support received by women in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and in the postpartum period differs considerably from instrumental support provided by partners. Social support obtained by women correlates with their life satisfaction.

Good relations with the partner seem to act like a 'buffer' against the negative influence of stress-causing factors and may to some extent prevent women from decreasing their life satisfaction after childbirth.

None declared.
Gebuza G, Kaźmierczak M, Gierszewska M, et al. [The problems of women in the puerperium and their causes]. Perinatol Neonatol Ginekol. 2010;3(4):290–295 [in Polish].
Sęk H, Cieślak R. [Social support – definitions, types and sources of support, sposoby definiowania, rodzaje i źródła wsparcia, selected theoretical concepts]. In: Sęk H, Cieślak R, eds. [Social support, stress and health]. Warszawa: PWN; 2006:11–28 [in Polish].
Xie R, On G, Koszycki D, et al. Prenatal social support, postnatal social support, and postpartum depression. Ann Epidemiol. 2009;19(9):637–643.
Clifford J, Mclntyre E. Who supports breastfeeding? Breastfeed Rev. 2008;16(2):9–19.
Greenhalgh R, Slade P, Spiby H. Fathers' doping style, antenatal preparation, and experiences of labor and the postpartum. Birth. 2000;27(3):177–184.
Drapier J. 'It's the first scientific evidence': men's experience of pregnancy confirmation. J Adv Nurs. 2002;39(6):563–570.
Alio A, Kornosky J, Mbah A, et al. The impact of paternal involvement on feto-infant morbidity among whites, blacks and hispanics. Matern Child Health J. 2010;14(5):735–741.
Hemsing N, Greaves L, O'Leary R, et al. Partner support for smoking cessation during pregnancy: a systematic review. Nicotine Tob Res. 2012;14(7):767–776.
Eriksson C, Westman G, Hamberg K. Content of childbirth-related fear in Swedish women and men – analysis of an open-ended question. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2006;51(2):112–118.
Łuszczyńska A, Kowalska M, Mazurkiewicz M, et al. [Berlin social support scales (BSSS): the results of preliminary research on adaptation scales and its psychometric properties]. Stud Psychol. 2006;44(3):17–27 [in Polish].
Juczyński Z. [Measurement instruments in health promotion and psychology]. Warszawa: Pracownia Testów Psychologicznych; 2001:134–139.
van Rijen EH, Untes EM, Roos-Hesselink JW, et al. Styles of cooping and social support in a cohort of adults with congenital heart disease. Cardiol Young. 2004;14(2):122–130.
Popiołek K. [Social support in marriage]. Chowanna. 2005;2(23):118–128 [in Polish].
Elsenbruch S, Benson S, Rücke M, et al. Social support during pregnancy: effects on maternal depressive symptoms, smoking and pregnancy outcome. Reprod Hum. 2007;22(3):869–877.
Hildingsson I, Tinqvall M, Rubertsson C. Partner support in the childbearing period – a follow up study. Women Birth. 2008;21(4):141–148.
Kakyo TA, Muliira JK, Mbalinda SN, et al. Factors associated with depressive symptoms among postpartum mothers in a rural district in Uganda. Midwifery. 2012;28(3):374–379.
Abbey A, Abramis DJ, Caplan RD. Effects of different sources of social support and social conflict on emotional well-being. Basic Appl Social Psychol. 1985;6(2):111–129.
Kotowska IE, Matysiak A, Styrc M, et al. Second European Quality of Life Survey: Family Life and Work. Luksemburg: Eurofound; 2010.
Sousa L, Lyubomirsky S. Life satisfaction. In: Worell J, ed. Encyclopedia of Women and Gender: Sex Similarities and Differences and the Impact of Society on Gender. San Diego, CA: Academic Press; 2001:667–676.
Negron R, Martin A, Almong M, Balbierz A, Howell EA. Social support during the postpartum period: mothers' views on needs, expectations, and mobilization of support. Matern Child Health J. 2013;17(4):616–623.
Dyrdal GM, Roysamb E, Bang Nes R, et al. Can a happy relationship predict a happy life? A population-based study of maternal well-being during the life transition of pregnancy, infancy and toddlerhood. J Happiness Stud. 2010;12(6):947–962.
Young KW. Social support and life satisfaction. Int J Psychosoc Rehabil. 2006;10(2):155–164.
Maurer TW, Pleck JH. Fathers' caregiving and breadwinning: a gender congruence analysis. Psychol Men Masculinities. 2006;7(2):101–112.
Gjerdingen DK, Center BA. The relationship of postpartum partner satisfaction to parents' work, health, and social characteristics. Women Health. 2004;40(4):25–39.
Rosand GMB, Slinnig K, Eberhard-Gran M, Røysamb E, Tambs K. Partner relationship satisfaction and maternal emotional distress in early pregnancy. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:161.