An analysis of two infants’ first cries

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Schwanke, Michelle
Goldberg, Lynette R.

As part of a larger study, two low-risk primigravida (first pregnancy) women who intended to breastfeed and their newborns were audio- and videotaped in the first two hours after birth. For this pilot study, recordings were analyzed to investigate early infant crying patterns. One mother-infant pair remained in close contact immediately following delivery with short periods of separation. The other mother-infant pair experienced longer periods of separation during the first two hours. Although data are preliminary, the separation cries of the infants were noticeably different perceptually than the cries produced in contact with mother. The separation cries were shorter in duration, with a higher first peak frequency, and a less distinct harmonic structure than those of non-separation cries. Results suggest that a separation distress cry is biologically plausible, both in terms of tension and stress in the newborn’s vocal physiology and because of the newborn’s dependence on the mother. Confirmation and expansion of these findings could serve as a motivating factor in preventing the separation of mothers and newborns immediately after birth

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, College of Health Professions, Dept. of Communication Sciences and Disorders.