Date of Award

Spring 1961

Document Type




First Advisor

Sister Mary Jerome


In routine daily care of the mother and baby in our maternity wards, careful consideration should be given by the nurse to the emotional needs of the mother and to her needs for instruction and guidance. This experience is not routine to the mother-to-be, and she may be very insecure and frightened by this new responsibility.

There are many women today who have little knowledge and many misconceptions and fears of pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Their fears can become intense, and will have a resultant effect on the labor and delivery, thus inhibiting their co-operation. The nurse can dispel many misconceptions and reduce fears by giving the mother-to-be an explanation of labor and delivery.

The few days a mother now spends in the hospital after delivery give her little time to become acquainted with the care of her baby. During this time, her role consists chiefly of feeding her baby; she is given little experience in his total care. Many feel nurses are "too busy" to be questioned, and the patient hesitates to consult with the nurse concerning the variety of problems which confront her regarding both physical care of the baby and preparation and sterilization of his formula.

The mother can be made to feel much more confident and relaxed by being given actual experience under supervision, in handling their baby, dressing and undressing them, bathing them, preparing formula, etc.