An evaluation of a pilot intervention for prenatal care and support for expectant mothers in a low socio-economic community

  • Roshin Essop
  • Nicolette V. Roman
  • Edna Rich

Abstract

Background
Antenatal education and care have been shown to be effective in improving the outcomes for pregnant women and their children. In the long term, these interventions have also been shown to reduce child abuse. The interventions often improve the knowledge and well-being of pregnant mothers. The aim of this pilot study was to assess if any immediate changes in stress, depression and anxiety, child development knowledge and parenting styles had occurred after the implementation of the intervention.

Method
A quantitative study, with a pre and post-test design was used to evaluate a pilot intervention at a community health centre. A sample of 5 mothers with a Meanage of 20.80 (SD = 3.83) years attended a 9 week group antenatal parenting intervention. The instruments used included Knowledge of Child Development, Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale and the Parenting Style and Dimensions Questionnaire.

Results
The results of this pilot study suggest that this intervention could assist in improving knowledge of child development and parenting styles at the end of 9 weeks. In terms of well-being, this intervention could assist in reducing depression and stress. However, anxiety increased after 9 weeks, but this could have been due to the impending birth date.

Conclusion
Although this pilot study has a very small sample of participants and the results should be interpreted with caution, this pilot study could provide promising outcomes for pregnant mothers in terms of prenatal education, care and well-being.

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