The works of Mary Ainsworth, John Bowlby, Marshall Klaus, and many others gave rise to the theories of attachment and bonding. Although the terms are frequently used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference between them and a difference between when they are used prenatally and postnatally. In an editorial of the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, Redshaw and Martin discuss these differences and their influence on current policies for maternity care although, “… there is no doubt that early contact can be very enjoyable for both parents, especially as many babies for several hours after birth have a prolonged period of alertness when face-to-face interaction is possible. Skin-to-skin contact at this time has been found to facilitate initiation and continued breastfeeding, although in terms of long-term relationship benefits the evidence is less than substantial,” (2).
In a compilation of research, Lamaze International published a study in 2001 (1) that states, among other things:
The link to this article is below and there are many additional studies analyzed. This is a great compilation of information.
Kathy Parkes, MSN-Ed, RN, IBCLC, FILCA CHC
Professional Development Educator
1. Lamaze International. (2001). D. Supporting early postpartum attachment: Selecting a birthing environment that clearly supports the infant-parent attachment process. J Perinatal Education; 10(4): 35-50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595086/
2. Redshaw, M. and Martin, C. (2013). Babies, ‘bonding’ and ideas about parental ‘attachment’. J Reproductive and Infant Psychology; 31(3): 219-221. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02646838.2013.830383
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Last Updated: September 2018