A review of nursing interventions to foster becoming a mother

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2006 Sep-Oct;35(5):568-82. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00080.x.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Empathy
  • Female
  • Gender Identity
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Human Development*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Maternal-Child Nursing / organization & administration*
  • Models, Nursing
  • Models, Psychological
  • Mother-Child Relations
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Nurse's Role / psychology
  • Nurse-Patient Relations
  • Nursing Research / organization & administration
  • Object Attachment
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Self Concept*
  • Social Support