From the pregnancy test to the first kick and finally holding the baby for the first time, each moment creates a memory and strengthens the bond between a mother and baby. Learning about secure attachment helps create a better bond from the start of the parenting journey. First time mothers who meet the income requirements can enroll or be referred to the Bright Start Program to learn more about secure attachment to improve baby bonding.
“As a Bright Start nurse, I strive to assist every mom and baby to develop secure attachment through positive interactions. I love to see the joy and laughter when a child and parent interact,” says Amy Paulson, RN, Bright Start coordinator for the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care (SDFMC). “A Bright Start nurse can provide tips on responsive, nurturing caregiving, reflect with you on your history, and be available to partner with you during pregnancy, infancy, and toddlerhood.”
Secure attachment is a special emotional bond created when one feels valued, loved, and safe. Attachment theory is based on the joint work of J. Bowlby and M. S. Ainsworth in the 1950s. “A securely attached child will store an internal working model of a responsive, loving, reliable caregiver, and of a self that is worthy of love and attention and will bring these assumptions to bear on all other relationships.” (John Bowlby and Attachment Theory)
Paulson points out, “Developing secure attachment creates a multi-generation effect as securely attached children will develop into secure adults and parents.”
Secure Attachment Tips:
- Comfort a crying baby by swaddling, rocking, or walking.
- Talk to and repeat the sounds the baby makes.
- Cuddle and hold the baby often.
A Bright Start nurse provides personal care and support for new mothers through the journey of pregnancy to toddlerhood Paulson is trained in Partnering in Parenting Education (PIPE), “PIPE offers interactive activities related to listening, love, and play. We will review activities you can do with your child to improve physical, social, emotional, and cognitive functioning.”
First time mothers who meet the income requirements can enroll or be referred to the Bright Start Program to learn more about secure attachment to improve baby bonding.