Past Issue

Volume 10, Number 2, Jul-Sep 2016, Pages: 175-183

The Role of Residential Early Parenting Services in Increasing Parenting Confidence in Mothers with A History of Infertility

Marjan Khajehei, Ph.D, 1, 2, *, Lynette Finch, B.Sc., RN., CFH., 3,
Research Coordinator, Karitane, Carramar, NSW, Australia
Conjoint Lecturer, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Residential Family Care Unit, Carramar, NSW, Australia
*Corresponding Address: P.O.Box: 241 Research Coordinator Karitane Carramar NSW Australia



Mothers with a history of infertility may experience parenting difficulties and challenges. This study was conducted to investigate the role of residential early parenting services in increasing parenting confidence in mothers with a history of infertility.

Materials and Methods

This was a retrospective chart review study using the quantitative data from the clients attending the Karitane Residential Units and Parenting Services (known as Karitane RUs) during 2013. Parenting confidence (using Karitane Parenting Confidence Scale-KPCS), depression, demographics, reproductive and medical history, as well as child’s information were assessed from a sample of 27 mothers who had a history of infertility and who attended the Karitane RUs for support and assistance. The data were analyzed using SPSS version 19.


More than half of the women (59.3%) reported a relatively low level of parenting confidence on the day of admission. The rate of low parenting confidence, however, dropped to 22.2% after receiving 4-5 days support and training in the Karitane RUs. The mean score of the KPCS increased from 36.9 ± 5.6 before the intervention to 41.1 ± 3.4 after the intervention, indicating an improvement in the parenting confidence of the mothers after attending the Karitane RUs (P<0.0001). No statistically significant association was found between maternal low parenting confidence with parental demographics (including age, country of birth, and employment status), a history of help-seeking, symptoms of depression, as well as child’s information [including gender, age, siblings, diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and use of medication].


Having a child after a period of infertility can be a stressful experience for some mothers. This can result in low parenting confidence and affect parent-child attachment. Our findings emphasized on the role of the residential early parenting services in promoting the level of parenting confidence and highlighted the need for early recognition and referral of the mothers with a history of infertility to such centers.