Cuddling Cubs is an Occupational Therapy led educational support group for mothers and newborns that centers around improving maternal-infant health outcomes through engagement in co-occupations and activities designed to strengthen the maternal-newborn dyad. MOMS is a proud sponsor of this program and we are thrilled to share their results:
What is the impact of a virtual OT-based playgroup on maternal-infant attachment?
● Postpartum interventions including psychoeducation, movement, and play demonstrated corresponding improvements in maternal risk factors²
● Maternal risk factors impact secure attachment/bonding between mother and infant¹’⁴’⁵’⁶
● Playgroups are an effective intervention for maternal mental health, mother-infant interactions, and playfulness, but less is known regarding impact on attachment
● Need for research focused on OT-led playgroups, and support groups for typically developing, non-medically fragile infants and mom
CLINICAL & RESEARCH IMPLICATIONS
● Expand the role of OTs to support maternal-infant co-occupations and postpartum maternal mental health.
● Further develop OT programs to support postpartum mothers through co-occupation-based activities.
● Increase supporting evidence for virtual implementation of maternal-infant early intervention groups.
● In order to accurately capture attachment a more sensitive measure is necessary.
● Early evidence suggests an OT-based virtual playgroup increases maternal autonomy through information and peer support.
● The virtual playgroup created access to evidenced-based postpartum information, developmental information, and material insights.
● Participants expressed the desire to maintain contact and initiated the exchange of contact information at the conclusion of the group.
● Importance of addressing and promoting postnatal maternal infant relationships through an occupational lens should be considered and implemented for all mother-infant dyads.