Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 1017–1022 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Maternal–Fetal Attachment and Cigarette Smoking Over Pregnancy

  • Susanna R. Magee
  • Margaret H. Bublitz
  • Christina Orazine
  • Bridget Brush
  • Amy Salisbury
  • Raymond Niaura
  • Laura R. Stroud


Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is one of the most preventable causes of infant morbidity and mortality, yet 80 % of women who smoked prior to pregnancy continue to smoke during pregnancy. Past studies have found that lower maternal–fetal attachment predicts smoking status in pregnancy, yet past research has not examined whether maternal–fetal attachment predicts patterns or quantity of smoking among pregnant smokers. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between maternal–fetal attachment and patterns of maternal smoking among pregnant smokers. We used self-reported and biochemical markers of cigarette smoking in order to better understand how maternal–fetal attachment relates to the degree of fetal exposure to nicotine. Fifty-eight pregnant smokers participated in the current study. Women completed the Maternal–Fetal Attachment Scale, reported weekly smoking behaviors throughout pregnancy using the Timeline Follow Back interview, and provided a saliva sample at 30 and 35 weeks gestation and 1 day postpartum to measure salivary cotinine concentrations. Lower maternal–fetal attachment scores were associated with higher salivary cotinine at 30 weeks gestation and 1 day postpartum. As well, women who reported lower fetal attachment reported smoking a greater maximum number of cigarettes per day, on average, over pregnancy. Lower maternal–fetal attachment is associated with greater smoking in pregnancy. Future research might explore whether successful smoking cessation programs improve maternal assessments of attachment to their infants.


Cigarette Smoking Attachment Cotinine Pregnancy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanna R. Magee
    • 1
  • Margaret H. Bublitz
    • 2
  • Christina Orazine
    • 3
  • Bridget Brush
    • 4
  • Amy Salisbury
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
  • Raymond Niaura
    • 7
    • 8
  • Laura R. Stroud
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Family MedicineAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Human BehaviorAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Division of State Health LaboratoriesRI Department of HealthProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Centers for Behavioral and Preventive MedicineThe Miriam and Lifespan HospitalsPawtucketUSA
  5. 5.Department of PediatricsWomen & Infants HospitalProvidenceUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsAlpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  7. 7.Schroder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy StudiesAmerican LegacyWashingtonUSA
  8. 8.Department of Health, Behavior and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthWashingtonUSA

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