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Dr. Ramona T. Mercer
The Maternal Role Attainment Theory, a mid-range theory, was developed to serve as a framework for nurses to provide appropriate health care interventions for nontraditional mothers in order for them to successfully adopt a strong maternal identity. Though this theory can be used throughout pregnancy and after childbirth to help mothers connect with their babies, it can also be beneficial for adoptive mothers, foster mothers, or others who have had nontraditional motherhood unexpectedly, such as taking care of a relative or friend's child as the result of a death. The process helps the mother form an attachment to the infant, which in turn helps the infant form an attachment with the mother. This helps in the building of the mother-child relationship as the infant grows.
The primary concept of this theory is the developmental and interactional process, which occurs over a period of time. In the process, the mother bonds with the infant, acquires competence in general caretaking tasks, and comes to express joy and pleasure in the maternal role.