Maternal bonding through pregnancy and postnatal: findings from an Australian longitudinal study

Rossen, Larissa, Hutchinson, Delyse, Wilson, Judy, Burns, Lucinda, Allsop, Steve, Elliott, Elizabeth J., Jacobs, Sue, Macdonald, Jacqui A., Olsson, Craig and Mattick, Richard P. 2017, Maternal bonding through pregnancy and postnatal: findings from an Australian longitudinal study, American journal of perinatology, vol. 34, no. 8, pp. 808-817, doi: 10.1055/s-0037-1599052.

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Title Maternal bonding through pregnancy and postnatal: findings from an Australian longitudinal study
Author(s) Rossen, Larissa
Hutchinson, DelyseORCID iD for Hutchinson, Delyse
Wilson, Judy
Burns, Lucinda
Allsop, Steve
Elliott, Elizabeth J.
Jacobs, Sue
Macdonald, Jacqui A.ORCID iD for Macdonald, Jacqui A.
Olsson, CraigORCID iD for Olsson, Craig
Mattick, Richard P.
Journal name American journal of perinatology
Volume number 34
Issue number 8
Start page 808
End page 817
Total pages 10
Publisher Thieme Medical Publishers
Place of publication New York, N.Y.
Publication date 2017-07
ISSN 1098-8785
Keyword(s) maternal-fetal bonding
postnatal bonding
maternal antenatal attachment scale
maternal postnatal postnatal attachment scale
Summary Background Mother-infant bonding provides the foundation for secure attachment through the lifespan and organizes many facets of infant social-emotional development, including later parenting. Aims To describe maternal bonding to offspring across the pregnancy and postnatal periods, and to examine a broad range of sociodemographic and psychosocial predictors of the maternal-offspring bond. Methods Data were drawn from a sample of 372 pregnant women participating in an Australian population-based longitudinal study of postnatal health and development. Participants completed maternal bonding questionnaires at each trimester and 8 weeks postnatal. Data were collected on a range of sociodemographic and psychosocial factors. Results Bonding increased significantly through pregnancy, in quality and intensity. Regression analyses indicated that stronger antenatal bonding at all time points (trimesters 1 through 3) predicted stronger postnatal bonding. Older maternal age, birth mother being born in a non-English speaking country, mother not working full time, being a first-time mother, breast-feeding problems, and baby's crying behavior all predicted poorer bonding at 8 weeks postpartum. Conclusion These novel findings have important implications for pregnant women and their infant offspring, and for health care professionals working in perinatal services. Importantly, interventions to strengthen maternal-fetal bonding would be beneficial during pregnancy to enhance postnatal bonding and infant health outcomes.
Language eng
DOI 10.1055/s-0037-1599052
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
1103 Clinical Sciences
1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, Thieme Medical Publishers
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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