Promoting Maternal-newborn bonding
during the postpartum period
Concept analysis is greatly assisted by
these two steps in so far as they are helpful in adding improvement to the
critical attributes, but they are often overlooked (Walker and Avant, 2005).
antecedents are helpful to the theorist in identifying the underlying
assumptions regarding the concept under study (Walker and Avant,2005).
Antecedents can be defined as events that happened prior to the occurrence of
this concept, first antecedent is the pregnancy, which is the starting point
for the maternal-newborn bonding. Research shows that the maternal bonding with
the baby to be during pregnancy can influence the infant development during the
first few months after delivery (Winkler,2000).
touch is another important antecedent that plays a crucial role in the maternal
newborn bonding. The touch includes the skin-to-skin after birth. It is known as
kangaroo care (L Furman, Kennell,2000). The research shows a change in the
mothers’ perception of her child, attributable to the skin-to-skin contact in
position. This effect is related to a subjective “bonding effect” that may be
understood readily by the empowering nature of the Kangaroo mother care
The skin-to-skin effect is related to a
subjective “bonding effect” that may be understood readily by the empowering
nature of the KMC intervention ((L Furman, Kennell,2000).
The consequences are those events or incidents
that occur as a result of the occurrence of the concept ((Walker and
Avant,2005). The fundamental consequences related to bonding are love and trust.
The love that the mother has for her newborn before birth and continue unconditionally
after birth. When the newborn has bonded with the mother, the newborn develops
a sense of security and protection. A trusting relationship has formed between
the mother and her newborn. From that
point, the newborn now relies completely on the mother to fulfill all of his
The existence of
empirical referents, which are classes or categories of a real phenomenon, demonstrates
the existence of the concept itself (Walker and Avant, 2005).
The empirical references were identified, as very
useful instruments in the development that are demonstrably connected to the
theoretical base of the concept and, as such, contribute to the content as well
as the construct validity of any new instrument (Walker and Avant,2005). They
are several tools and scales that are used to assess the maternal-newborn
bonding used by the practitioners. These includes the questionnaire (BPNB) that
was develop by Brockington and George in 1998, the mother-infant bonding scale (MIBS), Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire
(PBQ) was advanced by
Brockington et al (2001) for a timely diagnosis of mother–child bonding
disorders, development of a Pre/Post-natal bonding scale (PPBS). J Psychol
Psychother. Finally, the (MIB)
to measure the emotions of a mother to her new baby by Taylor and Al in 2005 (Zeitlin
et al, 1999).
The most popular tool among practitioners is the (PPBS) scale, instrument with good
psychometric properties; good factor structure, internal consistency, and
The research shows the validity and use of the
PPBS in clinical practice. The PPBS can be used in the pre- and postnatally for
detecting risk groups of women with poor bonding. Also bonding scores can be
related to infant attachment and child development.
The implementation of the PPBS scale help the
practitioners to assess and implement intervention to enhance bonding, in order
to improve a mother-newborn relationship.
Summary and conclusion.
The maternal-newborn bonding concept illustrates
the effect a strong bond has on the mother-child relationship that start before and during the conception to the birth.
The bond between mother and child involves affection and attachment. Once a
maternal-newborn bond is made, consequences of the strong bond encompass the
mother and infant.
The results of those consequences are trust and
love. Nurses play a crucial role in facilitating the special, close
relationship between the mother and her child during the complex period.
Nurses should be able to
help mothers to promote bonding by discussing all the factors that may help
them to bond with their infants such as the bonding process. In addition, the
importance of maternal–infant bonding should be emphasized to all mothers when
they plan their pregnancy and its crucial importance for the development of the
relationship between mother and infant of both the physical and psychological
impact it may have on child development..
Klaus, M. H., & Kennell, J. H.
(1976). Maternal-infant bonding: the impact of early separation or loss
on family development (Second ed.). Saint Louis: Mosby.