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Early Hum Dev. 1982 Oct;7(1):41-51.

Possible effects of emergency caesarian section on the mother--child relationship.


This study was a pilot project to explore the mother-child relationship in a group of mothers delivered by emergency caesarian section and to compare them with a control group of mothers delivered by normal vaginal delivery. The mothers delivered by caesarian section had a period of amnesia after the birth so that their recollected first contact with their baby was later than the control group and at one month the mothers delivered by caesarian section had much less eye-to-eye contact with their baby. There were differences in attitudes and behaviour between the caesarian and control group of mothers at one month and at one year. The mothers delivered by caesarian section had more doubts about their capacity to care for their babies, were more depressed with symptoms and felt their babies did not become a person until later. There were no differences between the two groups of children in general behaviour and development although the babies delivered by caesarian section were larger and this difference persisted through to one year. This caesarian group of mothers found adjusting to the birth of their first baby and parenthood more difficult than the control group of mothers.

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