Risk and protective factors for pre‐ and postnatal bonding

I. Cuijlits, A.P. De Wetering, J.J. Endendijk, A.l. Baar, E.S. Potharst, V.J.M. Pop*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Since disturbances in the mother–child bond increase the risk of negative consequences for child development, it is important to identify risk and protective factors for bonding as well as longitudinal associations. Previous research has used different bonding instruments during pregnancy and the postnatal phase, leading to inconsistent results. In the current study, the same instrument was used during the various phases. In a large, community‐based sample (N = 793), general information, feelings of pre‐ and postnatal bonding (Pre‐ and Postnatal Bonding Scale), depressive symptoms (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale), and partner support (subscale Tilburg Pregnancy/Postnatal Distress Scale) were measured at both 32 weeks of pregnancy and 8 months postnatally. Partner support was found to be a protective factor for suboptimal pre‐ and postnatal bonding, as was the engagement with fetal movements for prenatal bonding. High maternal educational level was a risk factor for suboptimal prenatal bonding, as were depressive symptoms for suboptimal postnatal bonding. The associations between most prenatal determinants and postnatal bonding were mediated by prenatal bonding, which underlines the importance of promoting prenatal bonding. Professionals in clinical practice should be aware of partner support, engagement with fetal movements, and postnatal depressive symptoms: All these factors offer opportunities for improving the bonding processes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-785
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Volume40
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • ASSOCIATION
  • LACTATION
  • MATERNAL-FETAL ATTACHMENT
  • MOVEMENT
  • NONRESPONSE
  • POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
  • PREGNANCY
  • PRENATAL ATTACHMENT
  • Pre- and Postnatal Bonding Scale (PPBS)
  • SYMPTOMS
  • TEMPERAMENT
  • mediation
  • postnatal bonding
  • prenatal bonding
  • protective factors
  • risk factors

Cite this

Cuijlits, I., De Wetering, A. P., Endendijk, J. J., Baar, A. L., Potharst, E. S., & Pop, V. J. M. (2019). Risk and protective factors for pre‐ and postnatal bonding. Infant Mental Health Journal, 40(6), 768-785. https://doi.org/10.1002/imhj.21811