The first hour of life: description of the early reciprocal interaction : mother-infant behaviour and development of their mutual relationship
1990 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The immediate post partum period may be particularly important for the developing relationship between mother and infant. This report consists of two studies: the first study (paper I) gives descriptions of the interaction between infants and their parents during the first hour post partum and the second study (papers II-IV) in this report examines the effect of extra contact during the first hour following delivery.
In the first, descriptive study, the study group consisted of 12 families, who were videotaped immediately after the birth of their infant. The aims of this study were to examine the absolute first contact between the newborn and its parents and to test Mahler's theory (1975) of the normal autistic phase. The videotapes were analysed by independent observers, who have examined the activities of the infants, the mothers, and the fathers with special emphasis on interaction. The typical process of activity development is presented and commented on and one case study is described in detail as an example (in Swedish in Appendix IV of paper I). The newborn's own capacity of intentionality and interaction through movements and sounds gives the mother a feeling of being the person who is sought by the infant during the first post partum hour. As this typical process is one of activity and of non-verbal interaction, it seems more appropriate to call this period a turning point phase or a phase of reciprocal adjustment immediately after delivery rather than a normal autistic phase as it was termed by Mahler.
In the second, longitudinal, prospective study, an extra naked skin-to-skin contact and suckling contact, during 15-20 minutes during the first hour post partum, was given to 22 primiparous mothers and their infants (P+ group). A control group of 20 primiparous mothers and their infants received routine care immediately after delivery (P group). The aim of the study was to examine what possible influence extra contact, in contrast to routine care, might have on the behaviour of mother and infant and on the development of their mutual relationship, also taking the sex of the infant into account. Follow-up studies were made at 36 hours, 3 months, 1 year, and 3 years after the birth of each infant. In this thesis the results of the 1-year and 3-year follow-up studies are included, both presenting main effects between the experimental group and the control group and effects in relation to boys and girls. The results of this study are discussed to some extent in relation to Mahler's theory of symbiosis and individuation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå universitet , 1990. , 112 p.
First hour post partum, mother-infant behaviour, early interaction between mother and infant, observations, development, follow-up, Mahler's theory of symbiosis and individuation
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-66901ISBN: 91-7174-503-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-66901DiVA: diva2:609692
1990-10-05, Humanisthuset, hörsal E, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 09:15
List of papers