Objective: To determine the current state of knowledge of nursing interventions that foster the process of becoming a mother.
Data sources: A literature search was conducted using CINAHL and PubMed electronic databases and other key references.
Study selection: Reports on nursing intervention research published in English that focused on a facet of maternal behavior in the process of becoming a mother during pregnancy or during the first 4 months following birth, or both, were included. Twenty eight reports were found.
Data extraction: Studies were reviewed, categorized, and analyzed and interventions synthesized to determine the current knowledge base for fostering becoming a mother. Categories included instructions for infant caregiving, building awareness of and responsiveness to infant interactive capabilities, promoting maternal-infant attachment, maternal/social role preparation, and interactive therapeutic nurse-client relationships.
Data synthesis: Interactive therapeutic nurse-client relationships and maternal/social role preparation had greater impact on variables indicating progress in becoming a mother than formal teaching. Instructions without nurse input were ineffective.
Conclusions: Interactive reciprocal nursing interventions are the most effective in enhancing mother-infant interactions and maternal knowledge about infant care. Evidence is limited on how to foster the mother's feelings about herself in becoming a mother and attachment to her infant.
(c) 2006, AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses