Browsing by Subject "antenatal attachment"

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  • Peltonen, Assi (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Aim. Maternal attachment towards the child starts to form already during pregnancy. It is suggested that antenatal attachment increases during pregnancy and at the end of the pregnancy it is at the highest level. However, longitudinal studies of continuity in antenatal attachment are lacking. The present study aims to investigate the continuity of maternal antenatal attachment during pregnancy, the continuity of attachment from antenatal to postnatal period and the associations of maternal prenatal and postnatal depressive symptoms to both maternal antenatal and postnatal attachment. Methods. The study is part of a larger longitudinal multidisciplinary project called PREDO Project 'Prediction and Prevention of Pre-eclampsia'. The present study sample comprised 3206 singleton mother. Maternal antenatal attachment was assessed with the Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale (MAAS) filled in at 12 and 26 weeks of gestation and postnatal attachment with the Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale (MPAS) filled in at six months postpartum. Maternal depressive symptoms were assessed with the Center of Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale completed bi-weekly from 12 to 26 weeks of gestation and six months after the delivery. The regression analysis was used to explore the associations. We adjusted models for demographic factors and maternal depressive symptoms. In addition, the mediating effect of maternal depressive symptoms on the associations between maternal antenatal attachment at 12 and 26 gestational weeks and between antenatal and postnatal attachment were studied with Sobel test. Results and conclusions. Higher level of maternal antenatal attachment at the end of the first trimester was associated with higher level of attachment at the end of the second trimester and at six months after the delivery. The maternal depressive symptoms during and after the pregnancy were negatively associated with maternal antenatal and postnatal attachment. Maternal depressive symptoms mediated the associations between antenatal attachment and between antenatal and postnatal attachment. The results indicate that maternal antenatal attachment starts to form from early on pregnancy. Maternal depressive symptoms are a significant risk-factor for maternal attachment process. Increasing awareness of the importance of enhancing mother-fetal attachment from the beginning of the pregnancy is important because it shows high continuity to the postnatal life.