March 1984

Effects of Perinatal Coaching on Mother-Infant Interaction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Family and Child Ecology (Dr Bristor) and Pediatrics/Human Development (Dr Helfer and Ms Coy), Michigan State University, East Lansing.

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(3):254-257. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140410034012

• Perinatal coaching, a skill-training program designed to promote and enhance parent-infant interactions, was evaluated through a controlled design. Forty-two first-time mothers and their clinically well newborns from one private pediatric practice in central Michigan were the sample. Twenty-one of the mothers received perinatal coaching on days 1, 2, and 7 post partum, while the remaining 21 served as the control group. At 28 days post partum, two standardized self-report instruments on parental stress and maternal adaptation, videotaped recordings of mother-infant interactions, and demographic and background data were collected. The groups were comparable on all demographic/background variables assessed. Perinatal coaching was effective in promoting positive mother-infant interactions as demonstrated in five of nine videotaped behavioral assessments, indicating improved interactions for both mother and infant. Some support was found that showed decreased stress in the coached mothers.

(AJDC 1984;138:254-257)