Early Motherhood: Maternal Challenges and Coping Strategies Among First-Time Ghanaian Mothers

Emmanuel Amangbey, Thomas Gando, Atubiga A. Baba, Joshua A. Akuu


Background: Motherhood is a joyous experience in the life of every woman. A woman’s identity is often defined by her ability to bear children in communities where motherhood is greatly valued. However, transition to motherhood comes with the demand of increasing responsibilities. This study therefore explored the challenges and coping mechanisms employed by first-time Ghanaian mothers to meet the demand of motherhood.

Methods and findings: This paper employed a qualitative study design through in-depth face-to-face interviews with 15 first-time mothers at 12 months postpartum. First-time mothers identified motherhood challenges such as difficulty combining mothering and work-family dilemma and having sleepless nights. Two themes emerged as coping strategies used by first-time mothers; these include obtaining support from parents, family relatives, external sources and self-designed coping strategies. Conclusion: The paper concludes that health care providers and policy makers need to fashion out culturally capable maternal coping strategies to supplement those been practised by first-time mothers.

Keywords: Early Motherhood, copying strategies, first-time mothers

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