Conceptual representation of Calming Cycle hypothesis. During a Calming Cycle mothers and infants cycle through: 1) separate mother and infant discomfort/distress, 2) mutually shared distress, 3) mutual resolution of discomfort/distress, 4) mutual calm that may include periods of eye-to-eye contact and/or infant sleep. Over time Calming Cycle interactions will lead to more rapid reductions and lower absolute levels of discomfort and distress in both the mother and the infant. (Note: The break in the separation line indicates that in the NICU mother-infant separation times vary widely in the NICU).
Welch et al. BMC Pediatrics 2012 12:14 doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-14