Prenatal stimulation program to enhance postnatal bonding
Van der Walt, Melissa Martina
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Background: The bonding process can start to develop as early as the planning of a pregnancy and can affect the relationship between mother and child through childhood. If proper bonding is not established, the child can present symptoms of depression, failure to thrive or delays in social and emotional, language or motor development. Stimulation programs implemented during pregnancy may positively affect the bonding process that act as a protective factor against negative outcomes in childhood, adolescence and adult life, for instance substance abuse, poor social coping skills and academic failure. Objectives: To determine and describe the effectiveness of The Baby Bond comprehensive stimulation program on bonding six weeks post intervention. Method: The researcher employed an experimental, pre-test-post-test randomised control group design in this study. Experimental and control groups randomly received the same pre- and post-test: the Prenatal Attachment Inventory within the third trimester of pregnancy and the Maternal Attachment Inventory six weeks post birth. The Baby Bond sensory stimulation program was added to standard antenatal care for the experimental group and the control group received a general stimulation program and standard antenatal care. The data was analysed with the SPSS program version 22.0 by the Statistical Consultation Services at the North-West University, Potchefstroom campus. SPSS was used to compile descriptive statistics from the experimental and control groups, Mann Whitney test and the effect size. Results: The twelve participants that were included in this study were from a variety of ethnic origins, in stable relationships and their ages ranged from 20-34 years. In the results, no statistical significant changes were found between the two groups with the Mann Whitney test. The pre-intervention variables (mean = 66.45) were not significantly different from the post-intervention measurements (mean = 101.03). A medium practical significant difference was identified between the groups (d=0.52) which can indicate that some changes in bonding did take place when implementing the comprehensive sensory stimulation program: The Baby Bond. Conclusion: The Baby Bond sensory stimulation program did not indicate a significant improved bonding as compared to general antenatal care between the mother and baby at six weeks after birth. However, future research in the optimal time for bonding interventions in larger sample sizes is needed, for more conclusive findings.
- Health Sciences