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MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2002 Sep-Oct;27(5):294-8.

Using evidence to educate birthing center nursing staff about infant states, cues, and behaviors.

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North Woods Community Health Center, Minong, WI, USA.


The authors sought to apply evidence from research to nursing practice. Research about infant states, cues, and behaviors was presented to a birthing center nursing staff and expectant parent class instructors. Posttest results indicated that the staff's knowledge and skill in interpreting infant behavior for parents increased after an educational session. The results are important, for research supports the idea that parent-infant attachment affects both parents and infants by promoting a loving relationship and improved infant development, a healthy self-image, and better relationships later in life. Cue sensitivity has been documented as the origin of parent-infant attachment. Cue sensitivity involves recognition of individualized infant body language and provision of an appropriate response. Parents who are sensitive to their infant's needs and who respond consistently and appropriately foster a mutually satisfying reciprocal interaction that leads to a healthy relationship. Incorporating information about infant states, cues, and behaviors into prenatal education can provide parents with an introduction to quality parent-child interactions.

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