Background: When women's' lives enter a new phase after childbirth, they need to adapt to it in order to accept their motherhood role. Maternal competency depends on the mother's perception of her maternal role and the ability to attain and fulfill it. The aim of this study was to examine the association between maternal sense of competence and self-efficacy in the postpartum period.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 305 Iranian women were selected randomly via a two-stage cluster sampling method at the end of the 4th postpartum month. Data were collected from August 2016 to January 2017 and by using the socio-demographic characteristics questionnaire, parenting sense of competence scale, and maternal self-efficacy questionnaire. The statistical tests including Pearson correlation, Independent sample t-test, One-way ANOVA, and General linear model were used for data analysis.
Results: The mean (SD) score of self-efficacy was 33.8 (5.1) and mean (SD) score of maternal sense of competence was 79.2 (13.8). Between maternal competency and self-efficacy a significantly positive correlation (P = 0.000, r = 0.364) was found. According to the adjusted general linear model, mother's age, income, spouse's occupation, type of pregnancy, and self-efficacy have statistically significant relationships with the maternal sense of competence and explains 34.9% of the variation in the maternal sense of competence score.
Conclusions: The findings of the present study showed that increased postpartum self-efficacy is associated with improved maternal competency, which requires health providers to evaluate postpartum maternal self-efficacy and make the necessary interventions if it is low.