Maternal responses to infant crying during the first postpartum month

O'Driscoll, Elizabeth Mary (1989) Maternal responses to infant crying during the first postpartum month. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The purpose of this research was to investigate and describe how primiparous mothers interpret and respond to their infants’ crying during the first postpartum month in order to assist nurses in providing anticipatory guidance and/or therapeutic intervention associated with infant crying as a maternal caretaking concern. -- An exploratory descriptive design was selected for this study. The sample consisted of 40 healthy primiparous mothers and their healthy, full-term neonates. A structured diary designed by the investigator, was used to collect data on the mothers’ responses to their infants’ crying during the third postpartum week. Mothers’ perceptions and expectations of their infants' crying were measured using the Neonatal Perception Inventories. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. -- The study revealed that infant crying causes a considerable amount of worry for mothers during the first postpartum month. There was a significant positive correlation between the amount of worry and the average number of daily crying episodes. Mothers most often attributed the cause of crying to physical needs rather than social needs. Maternal behavioral responses consisted of picking up the infant and trying different soothing interventions of which feeding was considered to be the most effective. A variety of emotional maternal responses were evoked by the infant’s crying. Mothers whose infants were difficult to console expressed negative feelings such as worry, anxiety and frustration. There was a positive correlation between high worry scores and negative perception of the infant at 4 weeks postpartum. -- Although nurses actively participate in postpartum mother-infant care, they were infrequently identified as resource people. The few mothers who discussed their infants' crying with nurses did not find the advice very helpful for managing their infants' crying. -- Findings indicate that perinatal nurses need to be aware of neonatal crying as a maternal caretaking concern and be prepared to utilize current, research-based information to assist mothers with the management of their neonates' crying.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5706
Item ID: 5706
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 120-133.
Department(s): Nursing, School of
Date: 1989
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Crying in infants; Mother and infant; Newborn infants--Care; Puerperium
Medical Subject Heading: Infant Care; Crying; Infant; Postpartum Period

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