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Rubins Theory of Maternal Role Attainment

From onset to its destination, childbearing requires an exchange of a known self in a known world for an unknown self in an unknown world. - Reva Rubin Development of Maternal Identity -The achievement of a firm concept or identity of oneself as a mother, in the sense that she is comfortable in the role, occurs considerably later than the birth of the child -Maternal identity development is the womans efforts aimed at becoming a mother The Process of Maternal Role Taking 1. Mimicry - an active operation in which the woman searches the environment and her memory for other people who are or have been in the role she is working to attain, and then examines their behavior and imitates them 2. Role play - acting out what a person in the sought role actually does in particular situations. - the earliest form of role behavior 3. Fantasy - involves cognitively trying varieties of possible role situations - occurs by way of fears, dreams, and daydreams 4. Introjection-projection-rejection/acceptance (IPR/A) - the mother takes in the behavior of others (introjection), and examines if it fits her own role expectations. Then she imagines herself performing in that way (projection) and makes a judgment about the behavior. If the fit is good, the behavior is accepted. 5. Grief work - an operation that has to do with giving up elements of the former self which would be in conflict with the new role Maternal Tasks -The totality of a womans psychologic work of pregnancy -Has been grouped into four seeking safe passage for self and baby securing acceptance learning to give of self binding-in to the unknown baby

1. Seeking safe passage for self and baby - seeking safe passage in the first trimester is for pregnancy care, in the second trimester it is for baby care, and in the third it is for delivery care. 2. Securing acceptance - securing acceptance is a condition necessary to produce and sustain the energy for all the other tasks - involves a reworking of psychologic, social and physical space within the family to make a place for the coming child

3. Learning to give of self - giving is an inherent and pervasive part of being a mother, during both childbearing or childrearing - the woman has to learn to give to the child voluntarily on a day-to-day basis in order for the child to survive 4. Binding-in to the unknown baby - maternal binding-in is the dynamic process of attachment and interconnection with the infant that begins in the prenatal period. - has two halves: binding-in to the infant and binding-in to self as mother of the infant Maternal Tasks During Pregnancy by Psychologic Trimesters Trimester Second
Concern about baby. Care of and for baby. Is my baby all right?

Safe passage

Concern about self. Am I sick or am I pregnant?

Concern about self and baby. Seeking delivery care. Will my baby and I safely go through labor and delivery?

Securing acceptance

Works on acceptance of herself as pregnant Cost-analysis: What do I have to give up? Can I give up all that I have to? Binds in to the idea of self as pregnant. Baby is not real

Works on acceptance of her baby

Works on acceptance of this baby, as it is. Feels given out. Feels she cannot give anymore. Extracts gifts from others.


Works on meaning of giving. Learns to give by being given to.

Binding-in Attachment to baby. Secret romantic love between self and baby. Feels goodattributes it to baby. Seeks messages from baby. Carries a valuable treasure. Becomes fearful- what one possesses/ treasures can be taken away. Hates being pregnant but wants her baby.

Sources: Auvenshine, M. (1990). Comprehensive maternity nursing (pp. 227- 233). Boston: Jones and Bartlett, etc. The New Midwifery: Science and Sensitivity in Practice