Mothers’ perception of their relationship with their baby might affect sensitive parenting. This study aimed to explore first time mothers’ feelings for and their relation to the baby associated with how they responded to the “mother to infant relation and feelings (MIRF) scale” as a step in the validation process of the scale. Interviews with ten first-time mothers, three days after birth, were performed, using open questions followed by questions directly from the MIRF scale items. An inductive and deductive approach inspired by the “Think aloud” method guided the study. Results describe main category; New mothers bewilderment and anticipation which contained four categories; Natural and great but mixed, Maternal instinct and kinship, Ability and expectations and Not yet for real. When mothers responded to MIRF scale items they describe talking to their baby which they did not in their open answers. Answering the MIRF scale helped mothers in differentiating between their own mixed feelings of becoming mothers and their relation to and feelings for the baby. The MIRF scale appears valid in reflecting important aspects of mothers’ feelings for and relation to their baby. The MIRF scale could be used in research and when evaluating care routines as well as in dialogue with new mothers to support mother-to-infant interactions.
Key words: Maternal feeling assessment, becoming a mother, motherhood, childbirth, professional support, validity.
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