Factors affecting postpartum readiness to return to work;
The extent to which mothers achieve specific physical and psychosocial tasks during the first 6 weeks postpartum and their readiness to return to work was studied. A convenience sample of 94 subjects with 24 active duty primiparas, 14 active duty multiparas, 23 nonmilitary primiparas, and 32 nonmilitary multiparas was drawn from 20 sites across the United States. The study had the dual purpose of developing a tool with statistical reliability for data collection and to gather initial descriptive data concerning postpartum physical and psychosocial recovery during the first 6 weeks postpartum and subject readiness to return to work. A mailed questionnaire with subject response at weekly intervals for the first 6 weeks postpartum was used to collect data. An analysis of the data showed no demographic differences between groups twice as many military women return to work at week 6 postpartum than nonmilitary women. Overall, psychosocial postpartum recovery in only in beginning stages during the first 6 weeks postpartum while physical recovery is rapid to advanced stages, with temporary interruptions at weeks 2 and 5 postpartum, in uncomplicated labors and births of all groups. As regards postpartum task resolution and work, the military multipara made the most positive toward attainment and maintenance of maternal role over 6 weeks active duty women who returned to work had the highest attainment of maternal role scores at week 6 postpartum.