About MUMS

There are a lot of Facebook groups and online resources, but nothing beats a face to face conversation. I felt this was lacking in my community. I received little support for the isolation....

E-Interview Participant

MUMs: Mapping and Understanding Mothers’ Social Networks
(Funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research)

The first six months postpartum (after a baby is born or adopted) can be both an exciting and difficult period physically, psychologically and emotionally. In Canada mothers have a variety of options for postpartum support including public health, parent drop in centres, family, friends, and online social networks. The shift in social networking from face to face to online interactions has created new places, spaces and ways of supporting new mothers.

Research confirms that mothers and their babies who are supported in the postpartum period are healthier. However, there is a significant gap in our understanding of new mothers’ social networking practices. Presently, we do not know what supports mothers prefer to access and what they find most helpful. We need to examine what information and supports mothers need during the first 6 months postpartum.

The purpose of the MUMs study was to examine how new mothers in Nova Scotia identified and prioritized their own postpartum needs and where they went for information and support. Our team examined how new mothers chose to access or not access different postpartum supports, such as informal or formal groups, programs and services, social media, online services and family and friends.

We collected information in three different ways:

1) From public online chat spaces used by mothers in Nova Scotia.

2) Focus groups with mothers living in Nova Scotia sharing their experiences about their first six months postpartum.

3) E-interviews (online questionnaire) with mothers living in Nova Scotia who shared their experiences about their first six months postpartum. 

We are presently creating a critical mapping tool that was funded by the Nursing Research and Development Fund at the School of Nursing Dalhousie University.
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