Maternal Lateral Preference at First Contact with Her Newborn Infant
Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
Volume 9, Issue 2, pages 85–89, June 1982
How to Cite
Trevathan, W. R. (1982), Maternal Lateral Preference at First Contact with Her Newborn Infant. Birth, 9: 85–89. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.1982.tb01628.x
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2008
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2008
ABSTRACT: Previous studies report a preference of human mothers for holding their infants on the left side of the body, regardless of maternal handedness. This study describes maternal lateral preferences during the first hour after 100 deliveries. Seventy-one of the women pulled their infants to their left sides when they first held them and 29 held them on the right. The disparity persisted for the full hour following birth. These results are similar to those reported in previous studies and support the hypothesis that the human mother has a natural tendency to hold her infant on the left side of the body. The implications of this preference are discussed.