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Prenatal predictors of maternal-infant attachment
journal contributionposted on 07.10.2020, 00:00 by G Branjerdporn, Pamela Meredith, T Wilson, J Strong
Background.: Increasingly, occupational therapists are working with women in the perinatal period, including supporting the developing mother-child relationship. Purpose.: To examine prenatal predictors of maternal-infant attachment (maternal-fetal attachment, sensory patterns, adult attachment, perinatal loss, and mental health) that may provide possible avenues for assessment and intervention by occupational therapists. Method.: Women (N = 60) were assessed during pregnancy and within one year postpartum in a cohort study. Independent t-tests, correlations, and multivariate regression models were conducted. Findings.: Low threshold maternal sensory patterns, more insecure adult attachment, and poorer quality of maternal-fetal attachment were each correlated with less optimal maternal-infant attachment. Quality of prenatal attachment was the best predictor of overall postnatal attachment in multivariate regression models. Implications.: Occupational therapists working in a range of clinical settings (e.g., mental health, substance use, and perinatal care) may work with women during pregnancy to promote their relationship with their developing baby in utero and after birth. © CAOT 2020.