Conditions that affect parental attitudes towards the infant
Parents who have had experience in caring for earlier-born children, taken courses given in prenatal clinics or babysat for older siblings or neighbors' children have more confidence in assuming the parental role than to those who have lacked any such experiences.
The mother's attitude toward the infant is more favourable when the childbirth experience has been relatively easy than when it is prolonged, difficult, and followed by physical complications. The father's attitude is also colored by his wife's childbirth experience.
The more quickly a mother recovers after childbirth, the more favorable her attitude toward the infant will be and the more confident she will be of her ability to fulfill her maternal role satisfactorily.
When complication arise at childbirth, such as a caesarean operation, prematurity which necessitates special nursing care and a prolonged stay in the hospital, or some defect brought on at birth or apparent at birth, parental attitudes will be unfavorably affected by concern about the unexpected expenses involved.
If there is a suspicion or actual evidence that the infant is defective in some respect, parental attitudes will be colored by disappointment, concern about the future normality of the infant, and the added expense the defect will cost.
The faster and the better the infant adjusts to postnatal environment, the more favorable parents' attitudes will be.
Infants who cry excessively and without apparent reason encourage the development of unfavorable attitudes not only on the part of parents but also on the part of all family members. Parental Resentments against Work, Privations, and Expenses.
When parents find that the care of the infant requires more work, privations and expenses than they had anticipated, their attitudes toward the infant will be far less favorable than they would have been had they prepared themselves for the conditions that parenthood normally imposes.
If an infant must remain in the hospital longer than the usual stay, as a result of prematurity, some defect, or poor postnatal adjustments, parents are not only concerned about the infants normality, but also about their ability to care for the infant after leaving the hospital.
When an infant must remain in the hospital longer than the usual time and be given special attention, parents become concerned about the infant's survival. If the infant does survive, parents tend to be over protective when they assume responsibility for its care.