Factors Influencing the Maternal Life Balance of Flemish Mothers, a Cross-Sectional Study

  • Jacoba KuipersEmail author
  • Luka Van Leugenhaege
  • Natacha Van de Craen
  • Laura Van den Branden
  • Roxanne Bleijenbergh
  • Eveline Mestdagh
  • Bart Van Rompaey


This cross-sectional study examined the levels of maternal life balance and its influencing factors. The sample was composed of 731 Flemish mothers who self-reported on perceived maternal life balance; maternal-infant bonding; emotional wellbeing and coping responses to motherhood. Sociodemographic details were obtained. Mothers overall perceived life balance. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed a model with predictors of perceived maternal life balance: Sense of coherence (B.157; p.000), level of education (B.035; p.000), seeking social support (B.064; p.008) and shared parenting (B.080; p.030) had a significant positive relationship with maternal life balance. Low emotional wellbeing (B-.273; p.000), income level (B-.144; p < .000), maternal age (B−.009; p.011) had a significant negative relationship with maternal life balance. To establish and maintain maternal life balance, Flemish mothers, mothers ≥31 years of age in particular, would benefit from support during their children’s pre-primary school age-period, irrespective of maternal socio-economic characteristics. Professional and peer support should include the dialogue about transition to motherhood, adaptation of the maternal identity and about maternal role attainment. The woman’s emotional wellbeing, her concerns about motherhood, her coping resources and what motherhood means to the individual woman should be considered. Education of professionals and future research, with specific attention to co-parents, older mothers and mothers with a non-Flemish background, are recommended.


Motherhood Maternal Life balance Bonding Emotional wellbeing Adaptation 



We thank the study participants and their family members for their support of the study, and our staff for their diligent work to ensure participant safety and data quality.

Funding Information

This study is part of the “MEtoWE” practice orientated scientific research project and was funded by the Department of Economy, Science & Innovation of the Flemish Government under Grant PWO-3100Q1003.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Disclosure of Interest

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants

The Ethics Committee Social and Human Sciences Antwerp University, reviewed and approved the study protocol (EA SHW_17_40_03).

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from the participants.


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Copyright information

© The International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies (ISQOLS) and Springer Nature B.V. 2019
corrected publication 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MidwiferyArtesis Plantijn University College AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences - Nursing & Midwifery, Campus Drie EikenAntwerp UniversityWilrijkBelgium

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