|dc.description.abstract||The purpose of this qualitative, naturalistic inquiry study was to explore the lived
experiences of first-time parents of infants and how they cope with this new
responsibility. The postpartum period marks the start of a new relationship with the
baby, but also brings about changes within the couple. These changes and experiences
are the building blocks for future coping skills.
Lazarus and Folkman's Theory of Stress and Coping (in Polit & Beck, 2008) was
used as the theoretical framework for this study. Lazarus and Folkman (1984) state that
a person exposed to stressful stimuli will complete a cognitive appraisal of the stress and
how it is perceived. When coping strategies are learned, deliberate responses are used
to adapt to or change stressors (Polit & Beck, 2008).
Nine couples were sought through snowball sampling and interviewed until data
saturation was obtained. The data collection instruments included the researcher, a
demographic questionnaire, one broad, open-ended question, and several focused
interview questions. Trustworthiness of the data was evaluated through Lincoln and Guba's (1985) criteria(in Polit & Beck, 2008). All interviews were transcribed and analyzed using Giorgi's (1985) method (in Polit & Beck, 2008).
Results of this study described the participant's experiences. During data analysis, three main themes emerged: (a) life altering and selflessness, (b) stressful and
scary, and (c) learn as you go.
It is important for advanced practice nurses to recognize the unique needs and
characteristics of first-time parents with infants. They may be better able to anticipate
certain needs of the parents. Creating a more positive environment for the parent can benefit the infant's social and psychological well-being.||en