Teaching substance-abusing mothers how to comfort and interact with their babies within 24 hours of delivery could prevent abuse or neglect of infants, according to an Ohio study of 60 couplets.
Researchers assigned 40 subjects, whose urine tested positive for drug use, to an intervention or control group. A third comparison group was made up of 20 mothers with negative urine samples who matched the other groups in age, race, marital status and education.
Within 24 hours of delivery, a trained observer watched the mothers feed their babies and used the Nursing Child Assessment Feeding Scale (NCAFS) to measure interactive strategies mothers used to elicit social behavior from their children. The observer was unaware of any mother's drug history.