Fussy, unsettled and irritable infants - the mother's voice : how can you support me if you don't understand me?
Citation:Viedma-Dodd, A. (2006). Fussy, Unsettled and Irritable Infants - the Mother's Voice: How Can You Support Me If You Don't Understand Me?. Unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Master of Osteopathy, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1245
Background: Osteopathic literature on the topic of infant health is from a clinical stand point and lacks supportive research. This project is a first step towards extending this literature by exploring the mothers’ point of view. Objective: To identify and describe factors which mothers associate with their infant’s fussiness, unsettledness or irritability. Methods: The qualitative research design employed in this project was descriptive phenomenology. Participants were recruited through purposeful sampling and consisted of five mothers of fussy, unsettled or irritable infants aged between six and twelve months. Face to face interviews were aimed at exploring the mothers’ experiences from pregnancy till the infant was the age of six months. Colaizzi’s method of analysis was employed to provide a narrative account of the participants’ experience. Results: The focus of the project shifted from factors which cause infant fussiness, unsettledness or irritability to factors which influence infant demeanour. Three themes emerged that described this phenomenon: (1) The effect of understanding on support, (2) The emotional link between mother and infant and (3) The mother’s search to understand and care for her infant. Conclusions: Understanding a mother’s situation is essential for health practitioners to provide her with the appropriate support that she needs to care for her infant.