Background: Postpartum health research has focused primarily on full-term mothers. Aims: To explore postpartum stress, depression, social support, health status, and predictors of health status in mothers of premature infants. Methods: This study employed a cross-sectional design. With convenience sampling, a total of 203 mothers of premature infants were recruited from two medical centers and four community teaching hospitals in southern Taiwan. The Hung Postpartum Stress Scale, Social Support Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, and Chinese Health Questionnaire were used to assess the mothers' psychosocial features during the first 6 weeks postpartum. Results: Mothers' health status differed significantly according to levels of postpartum stress and depression. The important health status predictors were age, education, postpartum stress, and depression level. Discussion: The concerns and needs of mothers of premature infants differed from those of full-term mothers during the first 6 weeks postpartum; premature infants' health status was found to be a major perceived stressor for their mothers. Linking Evidence to Action: In the process of caring for premature infants' mothers, healthcare providers should provide individualized care to meet their needs, thus facilitating the reduction of postpartum stress and depression levels. During premature infants' hospitalizations, healthcare providers should hold regular faculty meetings to provide postpartum women with relevant information about their infants' health and how to best care for them. Future studies should explore postpartum stress, social support, depression, and health status each postpartum week, which could serve as a guide for nursing interventions.
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