Easing the transition to the maternal role



This study was conducted to determine if a nursing intervention designed to teach primiparas about their infants' behaviours and abilities would ease their transition to the maternal role. Data were collected at 3 days and 3 weeks postpartum from a relatively homogeneous sample of 16 control mothers and 15 experimental mothers. The intervention was presented to each experimental participant on the third postpartum day. Effectiveness ofthe intervention was determined by measuring maternal anxiety, using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and concern about infant care and adjustment to the maternal life style, using the Postnatal Research Inventory revised by Ellis and Hewat. Additional data were also collected from hospital records, a demographic questionnaire, and an informal interview conducted at 3 weeks postpartum. Although the outcome measures demonstrated no statistically significant differences, the conclusions support the need for a predictive framework which would help nurses identify mothers who may have difficulty during the transition to the maternal role.