• Pamela A. Furr C.N.M., M.S.,

    1. Pamela A. Furr is a graduate of the Nurse-Midwifery Program, University of Utah College of Nursing. Currently she is a Staff Nurse-Midwife with Indian Health Service, Shiprock, New Mexico.
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  • Carol A. Kirgis R.N., Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Carol A. Kirgis is Assistant Professor in Graduate Perinatal Nursing at the University of Utah College of Nursing, Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Dr. Carol Kirgis, Graduate Perinatal Nursing, College of Nursing, University of Utah, 25 South Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84112.


Forty low-risk mother-infant pairs were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups. Twenty primiparous breast-feeding women and their newborn infants (Groups I and II) were observed (pretested) during a feeding episode on the second postpartum hospital day. Before discharge on the third postpartum day, 10 pretested mothers (Group I) and 10 unpretested mothers (Group III) were given a behavioral orientation to their own infant's behavior. Group IV mothers and infants were added as a control. The 40 mother—infant pairs were observed at home during a feeding episode 2 weeks postpartum, using the Nursing Child Assessment Feeding Scales to determine each mother's adaptive behavior. The data demonstrated that the effects of teaching mothers about their newborn's individual behavior makes a positive difference in the mother's overall adaptive behavior, including their sensitivity to cues, response to distress, and provision of growth-fostering situations.