The connection between the pregnant woman and the fetus is important to mental and physical health during pregnancy. Researchers from the Chung Shan Medical University in Taiwan recently published a study on the topic in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
Study on maternal connection
Researchers recruited 160 women for the study over the course of 18 months between 2006 and 2008. The women all successfully conceived using in-vitro fertilization. The focus of the study was a maternal-fetal attachment in an in-vitro setting.
All data was self-reported via questionnaires and scales, including a symptoms checklist, anxiety scale, and social support APGAR.
Based on the information provided by study participants, between nine and 20 weeks gestation, attachment between the mother and fetus grew stronger. Factors contributing to a strong bond included social support and awareness of the fetus. Researchers believe pregnancy education and support can improve the maternal-fetal attachment.
Source: Kuo PC, Bowers B, Chen YC, Chen CH, Tzeng YL, Lee MS. Maternal-foetal attachment during early pregnancy in Taiwanese women pregnant by in vitro fertilization. J Adv Nurs. 2013 Nov;69(11):2502-2513. doi: 10.1111/jan.12135. Epub 2013 Mar 25. PubMed.