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Early Hum Dev. 1982 Apr;6(2):197-204.

The effect of early contact on maternal perception of infant behavior.


The effect of extra maternal-infant contact during the first postpartum hour on maternal perception of infant behavior one month after delivery was measured by the Broussard Neonatal Perception Inventories and the attachment questions of Klaus and colleagues. All mothers were indigent primiparas who vaginally delivered normal, term infants. 60 mother-infant dyads were randomly assigned to either an extra contact or routine contact group. 49 mothers were available 1 month later for home visits. Scores on the Neonatal Perception Inventories were not significantly affected by either degree of contact or the sex of the child. There was also no difference between contact groups in the maternal response to the attachment questions. Infant behaviors recorded by 24 mothers during the 4 days following home visits were similar in the 2 contact groups. Mothers reported significantly more negative behaviors for female than for male infants. Any effects of extra contact during the first hour after birth on maternal-infant interaction are unlikely to result from changes in maternal perception of infant behavior.

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