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Maternal–foetal attachment during early pregnancy in Taiwanese women pregnant by in vitro fertilization

Authors

  • Pi-Chao Kuo PhD RN,

    Professor and Research Adviser
    1. Nursing Department of Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, College of Nursing, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung City, Taiwan
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  • Beverly Bowers PhD RN CNS,

    Associate Professor Assistant Dean for Continuing Education
    1. University of Oklahoma College of Nursing, Oklahama, USA
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  • Yueh-Chih Chen PhD RN,

    Chair Professor, Adjunct Professor
    1. School of Nursing, College of Medicine and Nursing, Hungkuang University, Taipei City, Taiwan
    2. School and Graduate Institute of Nursing, National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan
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  • Chung-Hey Chen PhD RN,

    Professor
    1. Institute of Allied Health Sciences & School of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan City, Taiwan
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  • Ya-Ling Tzeng PhD RN,

    Associate Professor, Adjunct Supervisor, Corresponding author
    1. School of Nursing, China Medical University, Taichung City, Taiwan
    2. Department of Nursing, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung City, Taiwan
    • Nursing Department of Chung Shan Medical University Hospital, College of Nursing, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung City, Taiwan
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  • Maw-Sheng Lee MD PhD

    Professor
    1. Institute of Medicine, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung City, Taiwan
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Correspondence to Y.-L. Tzeng:

e-mail: tyaling@mail.cmu.edu.tw

Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to investigate maternal–foetal attachment at 9, 12 and 20 weeks gestation and to identify factors that influenced maternal–foetal attachment in Taiwanese women who conceived by in vitro fertilization.

Background

Development of maternal–foetal attachment is an important part of taking on the maternal role. However, evidence about maternal–foetal attachment after assisted conception is inconclusive.

Design

A longitudinal design with repeated measures.

Methods

A prospective, longitudinal design with repeated measures was used. Over an 18-month period in 2006–2008, a convenience sample of 160 women who conceived after undergoing successful in vitro fertilization were recruited from a major infertility care centre in Taiwan. Data were collected by self-reported measures, including: (1) Maternal–Foetal Attachment Scale; (2) Symptoms Checklist; (3) Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale; (4) Social Support Apgar; (5) Chinese childbearing attitude Questionnaire; and (6) Awareness of Foetus Scale. The selected instruments to measure each variable were administered to participants at 9, 12 and 20 weeks gestation.

Results

Maternal–foetal attachment increased as pregnancy progressed from 9 to 20 weeks gestation. General linear mixed model showed predictors of maternal–foetal attachment included Chinese childbearing attitude, awareness of the foetus, and social support.

Conclusion

Health provider awareness of cultural influences on the development of early maternal–foetal attachment of women pregnant by in vitro fertilization is needed. Prenatal education in early pregnancy might incorporate more information about foetal development to allow the mother to visualize her unborn child. Providing social support for women who were conceived by in vitro fertilization is beneficial to the development of maternal–foetal attachment.

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