First-time mothers’ perceptions of social support: Recommendations for best practice

Tiffany De Sousa Machado, Anna Chur-Hansen, Clemence Due

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)
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Research indicates social support is imperative for postpartum well-being. The types of social support and access to preferred supports are less understood. This article considers first-time mothers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of social supports and perceived barriers to accessing support and provides recommendations for best practice. A search of the literature for terms related to postpartum social support was conducted. Major themes were identified and synthesised. A critique and analysis of the literature is presented with recommendations for best practice. Much of the research around postnatal support fails to distinguish the specific type of support, meaning creating support solutions for the postpartum period may not be effectively targeted. Recommendations for individualised support are made.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Psychology Open
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (


  • mothers
  • postpartum depression
  • postpartum distress
  • social support

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