Conflict of interest The authors have stated explicitly that there are no conflicts of interest in connection with this article.
The effects of preterm birth on mother–infant interaction and attachment during the infant's first two years
Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
© 2012 The Authors Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica© 2012 Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Volume 91, Issue 2, pages 164–173, February 2012
How to Cite
KORJA, R., LATVA, R. and LEHTONEN, L. (2012), The effects of preterm birth on mother–infant interaction and attachment during the infant's first two years. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 91: 164–173. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0412.2011.01304.x
Please cite this article as: Korja R, Latva R, Lehtonen L. The effects of preterm birth on mother–infant interaction and attachment during the infant's first two years. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2012; 91:164–173.
- Issue published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 18 JAN 2012
- Accepted manuscript online: 18 OCT 2011 10:38PM EST
- Received: 1 June 2011, Accepted: 12 October 2011
- Infant's attachment;
- maternal attachment;
- maternal bonding;
- mother–infant interaction;
- preterm birth;
- preterm infant;
- systematic review
Abstract Objective. Early mother–infant relationships in preterm populations were evaluated in the context of a systematic review of the literature. Design and setting. A systematic search of three electronic databases (PsychINFO, PubMed and Cochrane Library) was undertaken. Three studies of maternal attachment, 18 studies of mother–preterm infant interaction and eight studies of infant attachment were included. Studies of preterm infant attachment were also evaluated using a meta-analysis. Results. Studies of mother–preterm infant interactions showed that the differences in maternal interaction behavior between mothers of preterm infants and mothers of full-term infants seem to be most evident during the first six months of life. Differences in the preterm infant's interaction behavior seem also to continue for six months after birth. However, five of 18 studies showed an equal or even higher quality of mother–infant interaction in groups of preterm compared to groups of full-term infants. Studies of maternal and infant attachment indicated that preterm infants and their mothers are not at higher risk of insecure attachment than full-term infants and their mothers. Conclusions. The mother–preterm infant relationship is complex, and some relational patterns forecast greater psychological risk than others. It is important to decrease maternal stress and early separation in every possible way during hospitalization as well as after discharge.