Childbearing has cross-culturally and historically been considered a time of vulnerability and transition for new mothers and their babies, as reflected in the existence of ritual postpartum practices. The decline of ‘lying-in’ or confinement practices in Australia has, together with large-scale socio-cultural and demographic changes, led to many new parents, particularly mothers, finding themselves isolated and unsupported in the early postnatal period. This chapter explores how a diverse group of new parents in Australia felt and thought about social support in early parenthood, and the support they experienced. Based on an in-depth engagement with parents’ narratives, it argues that understanding emotional responses to experiences of support in early parenthood is impossible without an appreciation of both expectations of support, and the factors influencing such expectations.
|Title of host publication||Paths to Parenthood|
|Subtitle of host publication||Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenthood|
|Editors||Renata Kokanovic, Paula A. Michaels, Kate Johnston-Ataata|
|Place of Publication||Gateway East Singapore|
|Number of pages||28|
|Publication status||Published - 21 Aug 2018|
Johnston-Ataata, K., Kokanovic, R., & Michaels, P. A. (2018). 'One of the most vulnerable times in your life': expectations and emotional experiences of support in the early postnatal period. In R. Kokanovic, P. A. Michaels, & K. Johnston-Ataata (Eds.), Paths to Parenthood: Emotions on the Journey through Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Early Parenthood (1st ed., pp. 187-214). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-0143-8_9