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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Dianna Sorenson


employment of pregnant women, fatigue, physiological aspects of pregnancy, psychological aspects of pregnancy


Many childbearing women are employed. Few studies have researched the impact of employment on the maternity process. This investigation addressed traumatic perinatal experiences and fatigue in postpartum employed women.
This investigation supported the literature in that fatigue is present in the population of childbearing employed women. If a postpartum woman is fatigued, she will experience symptoms of fatigue. Mood disruptions also increase the incidence of fatigue in postpartum women. Traumatic perinatal events will ultimately cause greater fatigue in postpartum women. Having other children at home did not increase fatigue in the postpartum period.
Traumatic perinatal experiences were identified using the two subscales of traumatizing behaviors and nurturing behaviors. This investigation found the more nurturing behaviors identified, the less traumatizing behaviors experienced by the woman. High amounts of traumatizing behaviors were related to poor delivery satisfaction and heightened postpartum fatigue.
Employment was assessed using number of hours employed per day, number of hours employed per week, and employment satisfaction. This investigation found that both the numbers of hours employed in a day and week impacted the level of postpartum fatigue. Hours employed in a day precipitated greater fatigue than did the number of hours employed in a week. Significance for nursing is to advise women to reduce the number of hours employed per day to decrease postpartum fatigue.
Delivery satisfaction was addressed in relation to employment satisfaction and found that if a woman is dissatisfied with her employment she may also be dissatisfied with her delivery. This finding was not statistically significant at p <0.1. Not all women dissatisfied with their employment will not be dissatisfied with their deliveries. Women satisfied with their deliveries were found to have less postpartum fatigue and fewer fatigue symptoms.
Length of leave was correlated to fatigue, age, parity, and finances. This research did not support the assumption that the shorter the length of leave, the more postpartum fatigue a woman will experience. However, it did support that younger women without other children at home take longer maternity leaves as do women with adequate finances.
As the number of childbearing age women in the workforce escalates, traumatic perinatal experiences and postpartum fatigue must be addressed. Research is indicated to promote healthy outcomes for both the infant and the mother.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pregnant women -- Employment
Pregnancy -- Physiological aspects
Pregnancy -- Psychological aspects



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 1997 Kelly Hoffman. All rights reserved