Introduction Being a new mother is one of the most rewarding parts of life. It can also be a very difficult time, especially for those who are not prepared to care for an infant. Moms still seek out information regarding infant care, even if they’ve attended childcare classes. Advice topics that are often sought out by new mothers include breastfeeding/bottle feeding, infant sleep patterns, umbilical cord care, fussy infants, diaper rash, and bathing an infant (Sink, 2009, p. 30). We will cover these important topics and many more throughout this paper. How do you know if you are ready to care for a newborn? There is only so much research you can do before your child is born. It is important for new mothers to know how to properly care for an infant. Having at least a basic idea of how to care for an infant will make you feel more confident when the time comes. And when the time comes, just get in there and practice what you’ve learned.
Kayla Johnson (2013, p. 17), a Registered Nurse in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit, says that the relationship between an infant and mother has a significant impact on maternal mental health and an infant’s well-being. A year after birth, it was observed that mothers who bonded with their infant within two hours after birth, were more sensitive and content compared to those who were separated from their baby (p. 19). Many Neonatal Intensive Care Units have adopted the Kangaroo Mother Care technique, which is when the infant is placed directly on the skin of the mother’s chest. This technique has been proven to improve the infant's overall well-being (p. 20). It is imperative that healthcare providers educate the awareness of the significance of early maternal-infant bonding and how it positively will improve the life of a child (p. 22).
In the Midwest region of the United States, at two healthcare systems, a study was conducted indicating that despite attending prenatal classes, receiving child and postpartum care