Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Financial, Encyclopedia.
The emotional and physical attachment between infant and mother that is initiated in the first hour or two after normal delivery of a baby who has not been dulled by anesthetic agents or drugs. It is believed that the stronger this bond, the greater the chances of a mentally healthy infant-mother relationship in both the short- and long-term periods after childbirth. For that reason, the initial contact between mother and infant should be in the delivery room and the contact should continue for as long as possible in the first hours after birth. It is also called mother-infant attachment.
See also: bonding