Critique of Research Interventions

Article Critique: Baby Boot Camp: Facilitating Maternal Role Adaptation in Military Wives

Description of the Intervention

The article has described the experiment which was subjected to the intervention group. The intervention took place within a 4-week period where the participants received baby boot Camp (BBC) intervention teaching while the control group received traditional childbirth education course (CBE). The CBE classes were offered in three hour classes. The content taught included traditional childbirth preparation topics such as breathing, relaxation techniques, parental health, obstetric procedures and new born appearance and care. The experimental BBC receives their training on a different night where they received the BBC intervention on top of the traditional CBE. The focus on the intervention was on identification, development, and utilization of the internal and external resources that were unique to the military wives (Schachman & Lederma, 2004). 

The strategies were used in the intervention to facilitate the utilization of internal resources through small groups’ activities and a discussion panel.  The small group activities include reflection of coping strategies useful for dealing with military stressors. The provision of feedback and strength was useful in helping the participants enhance their esteem and confidence. In the discussion panel, the new delivered military wives who served as the panelists discussed practical ways in which they dealt with challenges of military life using internal resources. The BBC strategies using external resources had an aim of assisting the expectant mother recognize her network and expand it. Their strategies include offering information on area resources, role modeling communication techniques, and eliminating myths and barriers on the use of external resources in military population (Schachman & Lederma, 2004). The BBC strategies also facilitated the linkage of the newborn women with other military women who had already experienced the same challenges. The article has used a schedule to illustrate the differences in the topic and expected outcomes between the traditional childbirth education and the baby boot camp.

Relation of the Justification and the Experiment

The review of the literature indicates that maternal role maladaptation leads to insensitive and non-nurturing infant care, child care and instances of child neglect. An assessment of the pregnant women living in the military base who were screened for the Child Abuse Potential Inventory were discovered to have a score above the detection score for child abuse. This justified the need to help in offering extra training as the military wives have a risk of having behavioral and affective issues on maternal role maladaptation. Maternal role adaptation has its benefits that are well documented. The benefits that have been indicated include development of positive attachment between the mother and infant, self-confidence and enjoyment of the caring process, increased sensitivity and responsiveness to the infant cues. It is for this reason that the Baby Boot Camp was developed to facilitate maternal role adaptation among military wives (Schachman & Lederma, 2004).

Relationship between Experimental Intervention and Current Knowledge

The experiment intervention has touched on the main areas concerning maternal knowledge among the women especially the military wives. `The intervention was linked to the Psychosocial Adaptation to Pregnancy that offers the dimensions of prenatal adaptations useful for ensuring progress during labor and adaptation of postpartum period. The concept outlined in this framework includes acceptance of pregnancy, preparedness for birth, identification of mothering roles, relationship with mother figure, fear of pain, loss of control and coping skills. Most of these skills have been included in the BBC intervention for this study. The current knowledge works on the use of support and resources that were aimed at reducing the feelings of “being by myself” and empowering the belief in us. Current knowledge is, however, more advanced in the inclusion of technology for the maternal education and helping the military women get support from their husbands even in deployment.

Protocol for the Intervention

The experimental intervention was well-outlined and structured in form of weeks. For week one, the intervention covered military and maternal stressors which were identified and discussed in a group concerning motherhood and military lifestyle. There is use of dolls and playing, and issuing of handouts about motherhood in the military. For week two, the BBC discussed internal resources that the military wives use to deal with challenges of military life such as self-reliance, flexibility, and reliance. Week three covered the use of external resources that were available to the military new moms. These include discussing of the barriers, discarding myths and the issuing of information packed handouts. The fourth week covered integration through role modeling, and discussion with military couples’ and new moms. The topics covered the distance of origin, developing relationships with the other military wives, expanding roles and dealing with military demands. The focus here was to outline the positive aspects on the use of internal and external resources to adapt to maternal lives for the military wives (Schachman & Lederma, 2004).

Implementers of the Experiment

The article does not indicate the implementers of the intervention and the training they should have received to ensure consistency for the various classes.

Control Group Intervention

The control groups were subjected to the traditional childbirth education within a period of four weeks. The week one covered anatomy and physiology where they prepare for childbirth, physical changes, prenatal exercises and relaxation techniques. The week 2 covered issues in labor and delivery such as stages of birth which include early, active, transition, pushing, birth, and recovery. The techniques taught here include slow easy, choo-choo train, counted place and pushing. Week three included a hospital tour and covered topics such as labor & delivery, postpartum, nursery and suiting suite. The training brought on board the caesarean birth, and complications (Schachman & Lederma, 2004). Week 4 covered adaptation to parenthood where the expectant mothers were taught about the normal newborn behavior, reflexes, and appearances. It also involved the comparative teaching on breastfeeding versus bottle feeding.

Framework for the Intervention

The Baby Boot Camp was developed according to the model on Resilience model that indicated that an individual’s adaptation to a stressor was determined by protective and vulnerability factors that existed in the environment and are intrinsic to the individual. Vulnerability factors expose a person to maladaptive outcomes while the protective factor creates the response to stressors and promotes the possibility of an adaptive outcome. The protective factors described in this model include external and internal resources. Excess vulnerability factors are known to dispose the military wife to maladaptive outcomes (Schachman & Lederma, 2004). The model recognizes that during the military deployment the military wife may lack the spouse support. Where recently relocated, the wife faces the problem of being new to an area. The intervention has been developed using this model.

References

Schachman K., Lee R., Provide step-by-step explanation of requirements., and Lederman, R. (2004) Baby Boot Camp: Facilitating maternal role adaptation in military wives. Nursing Research, 53(4).   

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