In Norway the length of hospital stays after childbirth has been reduced in the last decades, and the use of patient hotels has increased. We assume this development requires better ability to self care among the women. The consequences have not been widely studied.
To detect whether todays postnatal care is satisfying regarding the women s needs, we interviewed 100 postpartum women at the largest delivery ward in Norway. The aim of the study was also to investigate if there are any differences in content among the woman staying in the delivery ward compared to those staying at the hotel. In addition we have included literature on the association between postnatal care and mental health.
The results of our study shows a large degree of content and feeling of being cared for during delivery and after, both at the maternity ward and at the hotel. There is still potential for improvement regarding breast-feeding, availability among the health personnel, sleep, rest and relief, information, and costs and service at the hotel.
Most women prefer the post partum period spent at the hotel, due to privacy, flexibility and the opportunity for the partner to be present with mother and child.
Regarding breast-feeding, personal guidance and standardised information is important.
The literature shows that women in general are vulnerable in the postpartum period, and by pointing the care towards women at risk we can achieve health outcomes in the sense of lower prevalence of postpartum depression.