A longitudinal analysis of total workload and women's health after childbirth

Patricia M McGovern, Rada K. Dagher, Heidi Roeber Rice, Dwenda Gjerdingen, Bryan E Dowd, Laurie K. Ukestad, Ulf Lundberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine the association of women's postpartum health with total workload (TWL), work and personal factors in the year after childbirth. METHODS: Employed women from Minneapolis and St Paul, Minnesota, were recruited while hospitalized for childbirth. Longitudinal analyses, using fixed effects regression models, estimated the associations of TWL, job satisfaction and stress, social support, perceived control, breastfeeding and infant characteristics with women's health at 5 weeks, 11 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months postpartum. RESULTS: Increased TWL over time was associated with significantly poorer mental health and increased symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: High TWL-including reduced time for rest, recovery, and sleep-is a risk factor for women's mental health and symptoms 12 months after childbirth. Women's postpartum health was positively associated with social support, which may help to decrease the negative effects of excess work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-505
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the grant 5 R18 OH00605-05 from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH.


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