Prenatal Attachment During Antepartum Hospitalization: Associations with Pregnancy Planning, Partner Relationship, and Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
Rifkin, Jamie Brett
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Little is known about factors that may interfere with a woman's ability to attach to her fetus in the context of antepartum hospitalization. This study investigated the effects of pregnancy planning, considering termination, and the quality of a romantic relationship on maternal-fetal attachment in a group of women hospitalized for obstetric complications. One hundred twenty-nine women completed the Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale during antepartum hospitalization. Participants also completed the Dyadic Adjustment Scale and reported whether their pregnancy was planned and whether they had considered terminating their current pregnancy. No differences in reported levels of prenatal attachment were found between women with planned and unplanned pregnancies or between those who had considered termination and those who had not. There was a positive correlation between reported satisfaction in a primary romantic relationship and prenatal attachment. Although small associations were detected between prenatal attachment and postpartum depression, this finding did not reach statistical significance. No relationship between antenatal attachment and postpartum anxiety was identified. The findings suggest that the quality of a woman's relationship with her partner influences the level of attachment to her fetus.