Roa Altaweli, Julia Roberts

British Journal of Midwifery, Vol. 18, Iss. 9, 02 Sep 2010, pp 552 - 559

Bonding is a complex phenomenon that occurs during a significant phase for the mother and her infant. However, the definition and use of the term bonding, frequently misleads because of the inclination to refine and oversimplify the attachment phenomenon. The objective of this concept analysis is, therefore, to clarify the meaning of this concept with specific reference to maternal-infant bonding. Adopting Walker and Avant's (2005) adaptation of Wilson's (1963) concept analysis procedure, bonding, as a concept, is analysed to arrive at a clearer and more accurate meaning. This analysis presents definitions and defining characteristics of bonding. Antecedents and consequences of maternal-infant bonding are also explored, while model, contrary and borderline cases are presented to further enhance clarity and thereby inform operational definitions. Implications for nursing and midwifery practice are discussed.

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