John Bowlby’s theory of human attachment has become widely applied across disciplines and across the stages of human development. This discussion explores the evolution of an application of Bowlby’s theory to the experience of pregnancy, from both maternal and paternal perspectives. Although the theoretical construct of maternal fetal attachment (MFA) requires continued theoretically-driven research, existing studies have associated this proposed construct with health behaviors, marital relationship, depressive symptoms, and the postpartum mother-infant relationship, pointing toward its relevance for academicians and clinicians devoted to the service of women and infants.
Note: Very large bibliography
Touch has emerged as an important modality for the facilitation of growth and development; positive effects of supplemental mechanosensory stimulation have been demonstrated in a wide range of organisms, from worm larvae to rat pups to human infants.
Babies often suffer unnecessary pain in clinical studies, potentially breaching international standards for ethical research, according to a new review of the medical literature.
Even when proven pain relievers existed, nearly two-thirds of studies involving painful procedures in newborns included a group of babies who got no treatment for their discomfort, researchers found.
With neuroscience, we can confirm what our ancestors took for granted—that letting babies get distressed is a practice that can damage children and their relational capacities in many ways for the long term. We know now that leaving babies to cry is a good way to make a less intelligent, less healthy but more anxious, uncooperative and alienated persons who can pass the same or worse traits on to the next generation.
Pediatrician William Sears has claimed that, “babies who are ’trained’ not to express their needs may appear to be docile, compliant or ‘good’ babies. Yet, these babies could be depressed babies who are shutting down the expression of their needs.”
Great post by a dad in Australia: “Sadly, my experience as a new dad is not unique. Several men who wrote for my book, ‘Men at Birth’, expressed similar sentiments that they had difficulty bonding with their baby. In most cases, the bonding difficulty appeared to arise owing to some medical intervention — in my case the prescribing of preventative antibiotics to my partner for premature breaking of her membranes, while for other men it was seeing the trauma of a caesarean section or an episiotomy. For others it was the shattering of domestic routine and harmony.”