Responsiveness in prematurely and term-born infants was studied cross-sectionally in relation to maternal confidence. Orientation and arousal were measured in 140 prematurely (mean BW 1,398 g, GA 30.1 weeks) and 75 term-born infants (mean BW 3,613 g, GA 39.3 weeks) with the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scales. Mothers filled out the Maternal Confidence Questionnaire and a modified version of the Parenting Stress Index. Prematurely born infants had a significantly lower level of arousal than term-born neonates. Responsiveness was not associated with maternal confidence. Lower confidence was associated with primiparity in both groups of mothers. Multiparous mothers of prematurely born infants had significantly lower levels of confidence than multiparous mothers of term-born infants. Confidence was significantly associated with stress for mothers of prematurely and term-born infants, and may be focused in follow-up after giving birth. Prematurely born infants should be examined more thoroughly in aspects of arousal at the time of discharge.
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