Friday, September 30, 2011


"The Erickson Institute in Santa Rosa’s studies found a significant correlation between childhood asthma and disruptions in maternal-infant bonding. Maternal-infant bonding, as used in these studies, is a construct developed by Klaus and Kennell (1976, 1981) that describes a physical, emotional, and biological attachment between a mother and her child. Klaus and Kennell perceived it as a complex interaction in which a strong emotional response pattern is mutually appreciated, anticipated, and reinforced.

Klaus and Kennell also identified events which can disrupt bonding. They presented two major impediments to the bonding process: (1) physical separation at birth; and (2) emotional separation in the mother due to some traumatic event. When either of these types of events is present, the likelihood of bonding decreases.

(1) Physical separation may occur for a variety of reasons, including general anesthesia, C-section deliveries, intensive care nurseries, adoption, postnatal illnesses in the mother or child, or any other hospital procedure which keeps a mother from being with her child after birth (Klaus & Kennell, 1976; Kennell & Klaus, 1998).

(2) Emotional separation can occur when the mother is undergoing a trauma of such intensity that it distracts her from, or interferes with, bonding. These traumatic events may include a death in the family, marital problems, a move away from friends and family, a recent miscarriage, homelessness, or addiction. When the mother is going through a trauma of this nature, the likelihood of bonding to her new baby is greatly reduced (Klaus, Kennell, & Klaus, 1995; Madrid, Skolek, & Shapiro, 2004"

Helping Children with Asthma by Repairing Maternal-infant Bonding Problems