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July 21, 1962

Mothers' Reactions to Their Newborn Babies

Author Affiliations

Jackson, Miss.
From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Mississippi School of Medicine.

JAMA. 1962;181(3):206-210. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050290028005

Mothers' reactions to their newborn babies were studied through detailed records of the behavior of 634 parturient women. One hundred fifty-seven service patients who were judged to be "greatly pleased" at the first sight of their babies were compared, in regard to 59 medical, psychological, and social facts, with 72 service patients who were judged to be "indifferent" or "disgusted." Thirteen statistically significant differences were found. When compared with rejective mothers, accepting mothers were more likely to be quiet, relaxed, and cooperative in labor, to have had a better emotional relationship with attendants, to have received more solicitous physical care, and to have more desire to breast feed their babies. These findings agree with those observed in other mammals.