A Qualitative Study of Older First-Time Mothering in the First Year.

Antonia M Nelson

Document Type Article


INTRODUCTION: The number of older first-time mothers has increased significantly during the past 30 years. The purpose of this study was to create a phenomenologic text explicating the experience of older, first-time mothering during the first year. METHOD: A phenomenologic/hermeneutic method was used to create a narrative text to address the following question: In what way does older age give a certain quality of meaning to first-time motherhood in women 35 years of age and older? This text incorporated data from interviews with seven first-time mothers ages 36 to 48 years, as well other data sources such as poetry, literary references, and findings from other qualitative studies. RESULTS: Among essential themes that emerged from analysis of study data were: "Being Ready," "Planned Intensity," and "How Far We've Come." DISCUSSION: Pediatric practitioners have unparalleled access to mothers during the first postpartum year. An increased understanding of the uniqueness of older primiparas as expressed in this narrative will enable nurses to more effectively address the needs and concerns of this growing population of women.