Grief, Pregnancy, Prenatal attachment, Theory



  1. Cote-Arsenault, Denise PhD, RN, CPLC, FNAP, FAAN
  2. Hubbard, Lori Johnson MSN, RN, IBCLC


Abstract: Theories from various perspectives can increase nurses' understanding of maternal behaviors throughout the developmental process of pregnancy and postpartum. The purpose of this article is to present relevant theories that maternity nurses will likely find useful, and to demonstrate their applicability through an unfolding exemplar case. Nurses can provide improved and more sensitive care when guided by psychosocial theories such as Rubin's tasks of pregnancy, prenatal attachment, pregnancy as a liminal phase, and the grief work in postpartum as proposed by Mercer. Use of relevant theories can promote holistic nursing care, increase critical thinking, and improve nursing responsiveness to unique family situations such as pregnancy after loss and premature birth.