Predictors of postnatal mother-infant bonding: the role of antenatal bonding, maternal substance use and mental health

Rossen, Larissa, Hutchinson, Delyse, Wilson, Judy, Burns, Lucy, Olsson, Craig A., Allsop, Steve, Elliott, Elizabeth J., Jacobs, Sue, Macdonald, Jacqueline A. and Mattick, Richard P. 2016, Predictors of postnatal mother-infant bonding: the role of antenatal bonding, maternal substance use and mental health, Archives of women's mental health, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 609-622, doi: 10.​1007/​s00737-016-0602-z.

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Title Predictors of postnatal mother-infant bonding: the role of antenatal bonding, maternal substance use and mental health
Author(s) Rossen, Larissa
Hutchinson, DelyseORCID iD for Hutchinson, Delyse
Wilson, Judy
Burns, Lucy
Olsson, Craig A.ORCID iD for Olsson, Craig A.
Allsop, Steve
Elliott, Elizabeth J.
Jacobs, Sue
Macdonald, Jacqueline A.ORCID iD for Macdonald, Jacqueline A.
Mattick, Richard P.
Journal name Archives of women's mental health
Volume number 19
Issue number 4
Start page 609
End page 622
Total pages 14
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2016-08
ISSN 1434-1816
Keyword(s) maternal bonding
mental health
substance use
Summary The emotional bond that a mother feels towards her baby is critical to social, emotional and cognitive development. Maternal health and wellbeing through pregnancy and antenatal bonding also play a key role in determining bonding postnatally, but the extent to which these relationships may be disrupted by poor mental health or substance use is unclear. This study aimed to examine the extent to which mother-fetal bonding, substance use and mental health through pregnancy predicted postnatal mother-infant bonding at 8 weeks. Participants were 372 women recruited from three metropolitan hospitals in Australia. Data was collected during trimesters one, two and three of pregnancy and 8 weeks postnatal using the Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale (MAAS), Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale (MPAS), the Edinburgh Antenatal and Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Depression and Anxiety Scales (DASS-21), frequency and quantity of substance use (caffeine, alcohol and tobacco) as well as a range of demographic and postnatal information. Higher antenatal bonding predicted higher postnatal bonding at all pregnancy time-points in a fully adjusted regression model. Maternal depressive symptoms in trimesters two and three and stress in trimester two were inversely related to poorer mother-infant bonding 8 weeks postnatally. This study extends previous work on the mother’s felt bond to her developing child by drawing on a large sample of women and documenting the pattern of this bond at three time points in pregnancy and at 8 weeks postnatally. Utilising multiple antenatal waves allowed precision in isolating the relationships in pregnancy and at key intervention points. Investigating methods to enhance bonding and intervene in pregnancy is needed. It is also important to assess maternal mental health through pregnancy.
Language eng
DOI 10.​1007/​s00737-016-0602-z
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
1701 Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Springer
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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