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Journal of Nursing & Care

ISSN: 2167-1168

Open Access

Professional Support in Pregnancy Influence Maternal Relation to and Feelings for the Baby after Cesarean Birth: An Intervention Study

Abstract

Stina Thorstensson, Eva Nissen and Anette Ekstrom

Background: Cesarean birth may negatively affect mother-infant interactions, while professional support may positively affect these interactions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a process-oriented training program for antenatal midwives and postnatal nurses on first time mothers’ perceptions of professional support and on their relation to and feelings for their baby after a cesarean or a normal birth.

Methods: An intervention through process-oriented training for health professionals regarding professional support in childbearing was conducted between 1999 and 2003. Ten municipalities were paired and within each pair, randomly assigned to intervention (five) or control (five) municipality. Mothers having caesarean (n=94) or normal birth (n=301) were included. Mothers received routine care (Control Group=CG) or care from health professionals having received training (Intervention Group=IG). The mothers answered questionnaires three days, three and nine months after birth. Factor analysis identified three factors: “Taking in baby,” “Confidence in relation to baby,” and “Feelings for baby.”

Results: Mothers in the IG with cesarean birth reported more positive for the “Taking in baby” factor (p=0.002) three days after birth, more positive for the “Confidence in relation to baby” factor (p=0.004) and for the “Feelings for baby” factor (p=0.004) nine months after birth compared to Mothers in the CG. Mothers in the IG reported stronger professional support from health professionals compared to CG.

Conclusion: Our result suggests that improved professional support during pregnancy may buffer negative effects of caesarean birth for first-time mothers in relation to and feelings for the baby.

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