(2) Allow the mother to cry as she wishes. Provide privacy for her. Let her
know there is nothing wrong with her behavior. Crying may even be therapeutic.
(3) Convey to the mother that change takes time. This is the single most
important concept to convey to the mother. She may not be able to do everything she
wants as soon as she and her baby go home. It may take weeks or even months
before she is able to make the transition to caring for her baby, her family, her home,
and herself. It is okay not to accomplish everything immediately.
(4) Be understanding. Understanding and anticipatory guidance help the
parents realize these feelings are a normal accompaniment to this role transition.
6-10. MATERNAL ADAPTATION FOLLOWING DELIVERY
a. Positive (Successful) Bonding and Taking-Hold. This reveals a warm
mother-infant relationship beginning. It is identified by maternal-infant behavior to
include mother fondling and caressing the infant, establishing eye contact with her
infant, talking and cooing to her baby, and attempting to evoke a smile or vocal
response from her baby.
b. Negative Bonding. Occasionally, a mother may have difficulty adapting to
her maternal role and bonding with her infant. This may be caused by immaturity, lack
of knowledge about infant care and behavior, and/or deep-rooted psychological
problems. The mother may express inappropriate responses. These responses may
include reluctance to hold, fondle, or interact with her infant, may find the infant
unattractive or ugly, may find her infant has a serious hidden disease or defect, and/or
may appear disgusted by the infant's drooling, sucking sounds, urine, or feces.
c. Evaluation of Maternal Adaptation. The nursing staff will make frequent
observation of maternal-infant behavior during the hospital stay. All maternal-infant
behavior (positive and negative) should be documented in the mother's chart as well as
the infant's chart. Maternal-infant behavior that appears maladaptive should be viewed
on an individual basis and reported to the professional nursing staff for evaluation by the
health care team.
6-11. SPECIAL NURSING CARE NEEDS OF THE SINGLE MOTHER
a. Pregnancy is usually not planned by the single mother. Many times, the
nursing staff does not know the true cause of the pregnancy. Pregnancy may result
from teenage pregnancy, incest, rape, failure of a birth control method, or pregnancy
conceived prior to a divorce. Lack of planning may impact on the mother's ability to
care for the infant and the other's readiness to want to care for an infant.
b. Considerable time should be spent with the patient. Do not be judgmental.
Offer kindness and understanding, attend to her postpartum needs, and evaluate
maternal-infant adaptation responses.