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NUR1 233 Lecture Notes - Egalitarianism, Sperm Donation, Menopause

Course Code
NUR1 233
Sonia Elizabeth Semenic

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Chapter 22: Transition to Parenthood
Parental attachment, bonding and acquaintance
Attachment: process by which a parent comes to love and accept a child and a child comes to love and accept a
o Includes mutuality, acquaintance
Bonding: takes longer than first few minutes or hours
Factors which influence maternal-fetal attachment include: family support, psychological well-being, and having an
Attachment is developed and maintained by proximity and interaction with infact
How closely the “dream” child resembles the real child influences the bonding process
Labor process significantly affects the immediate attachment of mothers to their newborn infants
Parent-Infant Contact
Early contact
o May facilitate attachment process between parent and child delay doesn’t necessarily inhibit process
o Immediate contact after birth is not essential for the human parent-child relationship
Skin-to-skin contact
o Positive effect: breastfeeding, breastfeeding duration, maternal affectionate love/touch during observed
breastfeeding, and maternal attachment behaviour
o Better cardiorespiratory stability was observed in late-preterm infants with early SSC
o When fathers hold newborns SSC after caesarean birth, the infants cry less, calmer, and drowsy sooner than
babies cared for in a cot
Communication between parent and infant
o Desire in parents to touch, pick up, and hold the infant
o As parents become increasingly sensitive to infant’s likes or dislikes of different types of touch, they draw
closer to their baby
o Variations in touching noted in mothers from different cultural groups
Eye contact
o Mother remark that once babies have looked at them, they feel much closer to them
o In NA, eye contact appears to cement the development of a trusting relationship and is an important factor
in human relationships at all ages
o En face position: parents face and infant’s face are approximately 8 inches apart and on the same place
o Immediately after birth, the baby can be placed on mother’s abdomen or breasts with the mother’s and
infant’s faces on the same plane so that they can easily make eye contact
o Light dimmed so baby will open eyes
o Cry: assures them of baby’s health and parents begin comforting behaviours
Uses crying to signal hunger, boredom, and fatigue
o High-pitched voices: infant alerted and turns towards them
o Can distinguish mothers voice at birth
o Mothers comment on the smell of their babies when first born and have noted that each infant has a unique
o Infants learn rapidly to distinguish the odor of their mother’s breast milk
o Newborns move in time with the structure of adult speech
o Culturally determined rhythms of speech are ingrained in the infant long before spoken language is used to
o This shared rhythm gives parent positive feedback and establishes a positive setting for effective comm.
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o Fetus in tune with mother’s natural rhythms such as heartbeats
o After birth, a crying infant may be soothed by being held in position where mother’s heartbeat heard
o Newborn task: establish a personal biorhythm or to achieve biorhythmicicity
Can help this process by giving consistent loving care and using their infant’s alert state to develop
responsive behaviour and increase social interactions and opportunities for learning
Reciprocity and synchrony
o Reciprocity: type of movement or behaviour that provides the observer with cues observer or receiver
interprets cues and responds
Often takes several weeks to develop with new baby
o Synchrony: fit between the infant’s cues and the parent’s response
Parents need time to interpret infant’s cues correctly
Parental role after childbirth
Transition to parenthood
Developmental transition rather than crisis
Time of disorder and disequilibrium as well as satisfaction for mothers and their parents
Transition harder for fathers who feel deprived when mothers who are also expressing stress, cannot provide usual
Strong emotions such as helplessness, inadequacy and anger that arise when dealing with a crying infant catch many
parents unprepared
Parents stimulated to try new coping strategies as they work to master their new roles and reach new
developmental levels
Parental tasks and responsibilities
Need to reconcile actual child with fantasy and dream child
Assistance can be seen either as supportive or an indication of how inept these others judge the new parents to be
Criticism of new parent’s ability to provide adequate physical care, nutrition, or social stimulation for the infant can
prove to be devastating
Becoming a mother
2 social processes in maternal transition
o Primary process: engagement making a commitment to being a mother, actively caring for her child, and
experiencing his or her presence
o Secondary process: experiencing herself as a mother, which leads to growth and transformation
Must learn how to mother and adapt to a changed relationship with partner, family, and friends
Phases of postpartum maternal adjustment
o Dependant (taking in): first 24 hours focus on self and meeting basic needs reliance on others to meet
needs of comfort, rest, closeness, and nourishment
o Dependant-independent (taking hold): 2-3rd day and lasts 10 days-several weeks focus on care of baby
and competent mothering
Desire to take charge nurturing and acceptance by others still important
Eagerness to learn and practice optimal period for teaching by nurses
Handling of physical discomforts and emotional changes
Possible experience with blues
o Interdependent (letting go): focus on forward movement of family as unit with interacting members
Reassertion of relationship with partner, resumption of sexual intimacy, resolution of individual
Stages in process of establishing a maternal identity while becoming a mother
o 1) Commitment, attachment and preparation (pregnancy)
o 2) Acquaintance, learning, and physical restoration (first 2-6 weeks following birth)
o 3) Moving toward new normal (2 weeks 4 months)
o Achievement influenced by mother and infant variables and the social environment
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