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The need for social support 

The need for social support
Chapter:
The need for social support
Author(s):

Janet Medforth

, Linda Ball

, Angela Walker

, Sue Battersby

, and Sarah Stables

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198754787.003.0008
Page of

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date: 17 October 2019

Social support is an important aspect of maternity care. It comprises three components—emotional, informal, and practical support. Social support should be provided for all women, but some women will also present with complex social needs. These may include substance abuse, domestic and/or sexual abuse, women of ethnic minorities or who have limited understanding of English, young women aged 20 years or under, physical and/or sensory disabilities, learning disabilities or perinatal health issues, and sexuality issues. These groups of women need to receive the same standard of care as everyone else whilst also having their individual differences and needs recognized and appreciated. A sensitive woman-centred approach which adheres to evidence-based practice guidelines is the best way to ensure their individual needs are met.

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