Feeding Method and Maternal-Infant Bonding at One Month Postpartum

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Bonding is an important health outcome for mothers and infants during the postpartum period. The method of feeding an infant, whether by breast or bottle, provides variation in opportunities for frequency and duration of maternal-infant interaction that is thought to be necessary for the bonding to occur. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there was a difference in bonding at six weeks postpartum among mothers who breast-fed, combined breast and bottle-feedings or bottle-fed. Pregnant women of al ages including those who were less than 18 years and married were invited to participated during the third trimester of pregnancy. At this time participants completed the Prenatal Attachment Inventory (PAI), and the Mother and Baby QuestionairetMABv, part l). Six weeks following the birth of the baby mothers responded tv the Mothar-and-Baby Questionnaire (MABQ, part 1 & 2) and the Feeding Problems Inventory. ANCOVA was used to evaluate differences in mean bonding scores, controlling for prenatal attachment and feeding problems. No significant differences were detected. Prenatal attachment, however, was a significant predictor of bonding at 6 weeks postpartum. Results suggested tire importance of prenatal attachment for postpartum bonding. Continuous re-evaluation of the mother-infant dyad and the construction of nursing interventions to support the developing relationship are needed in practice.

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