Antenatal maternal depressive mood and parental–fetal attachment at the end of pregnancy
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- Seimyr, L., Sjögren, B., Welles-Nyström, B. et al. Arch Womens Ment Health (2009) 12: 269. doi:10.1007/s00737-009-0079-0
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The present study investigates if mothers and fathers have similar ways of thinking and feeling about their babies during late pregnancy and how aspects of parental–fetal attachment are related to maternal depressive mood. Two hundred and ninety-eight Swedish-speaking women at 30–32 weeks of gestation and partners (n = 274) participated in the study. Socio-demographic background data were collected. Prenatal attachment was assessed with the maternal/paternal–fetal attachment scale (MFA/PFA), and depressive symptoms were assessed by the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS). MFA and PFA scores mirrored each other. After factor analysis, five different factors loaded somewhat differently for men were revealed as significant. These factors were (I) concerns about the fetus and health behavior, (II) mental preparation to take care of the unborn child, (III) experiences of pregnancy, (IV) experiences of fetal movements, and (V) naming of the baby. Factors III and IV were related to depressive symptoms. Mothers with slight depressive symptoms were somewhat less positive about the pregnancy but showed more attention to the fetal movements. Midwives should conduct interviews on the women’s psychosocial history and use validated instruments, which may help them to identify problems with the psychosocial health of the mother and her partner as they journey through pregnancy and transition to parenthood.