UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The lived experience of infant bonding in mothers with mental health and substance use problems in a supportive environment Abizadeh, Jasmin


Bonding has impacts on both maternal and infant well-being and likely also on future child development; however, our understanding of this phenomenon remains limited, especially among women with mental health and substance use problems. This study explored the lived experience of maternal-infant bonding in postpartum women with substance use and mental health problems. Using a phenomenological research design, 9 women participated in in-depth, unstructured, open-ended interviews. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and data was analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. Five common themes characterized the women’s lived experience of the phenomenon maternal-infant bonding: Sense of Transformation, Emotional Experience of Bonding, Sense of Connection, Sense of Nurturance, and Sense of Future. Findings are discussed within the context of existing literature on maternal-infant bonding, both in the general population and among women with mental health and substance use problems. Implications for clinical practice and future research are discussed.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada