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  • When Dad works away

    Tuesday, February 28, 2017
    News Releases

    The impact of employment-related mobility on new mothers in Newfoundland and Labrador

    It's a reality for many families in Newfoundland and Labrador that fathers work away. Sometimes they leave for months at a time and in other cases it is for shorter, more frequent rotations. This way of life may secure steady, reliable income for the family, but what are the implications on the ones these fathers leave at home?

    For decades, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been going away from home for work and little is known about the impact of such separation on the new mothers who remain at home. Western Regional School of Nursing faculty members Pam Moores and Trudy Read are researching the impact of employment-related mobility on new mothers on the island portion of rural Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).

    "The focus of this phenomenological study was to discover how new mothers in rural communities made sense of the experience of their partners being away for extended periods of time for work," said Ms. Moores,. "The consequence of the intermittent absence of the fathers is that female partners ultimately have sole responsibility for the family and household for extended periods of time. Early days and months of mothering can be very overwhelming - a feeling that can be compounded by limited family support."

    Nurse educators Ms. Moores and Ms. Read, and co-investigators Holly LeDrew and Moira O'Regan-Hogan, interviewed 19 new mothers, with children under 3 years of age, whose partners worked away more than 30% of the year. The research team analyzed the data and is in the process of writing for publication of the study. The researchers are all former community health nurses and are interested in learning more the lived experiences of these women, based on what they were hearing from nurses currently in practice in many rural areas of the province.

    "We heard from women who are trying to balance caregiving of children, manage a household, and cope with being a lone parent for extended periods of time," said Ms. Moores. "The narratives are relevant and crucial for nurses, health care providers and policy makers to understand the impact of commute work on families.  This information is especially important to community health nurses who strive to meet informational and support needs of new mothers."


    Western Regional School of Nursing 

    Registed Nurses Union of Newfoundland and Labrador


    Holly LeDrew MBA, MN, RN, CCHN(C) (Principal Investigator)

    Moira O'Regan-Hogan RN, BN, MEd, CCHN (C)




    Throughout the semester we will highlight some of the interesting research taking place at Grenfell Campus. The articles will appear here and will be compiled on the research webpage.


    Article prepared by Melanie Callahan

    Marketing, Communications and Advancement

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