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Title: The association between pregnancy complication and maternal-fetal attachment in the perinatal period : a systematic review ; Reviewing the impact of Hyperemesis Gravidarum on mother-child attachment and parenting stress up to two years' post-partum : a cross-sectional study
Author: Garvin, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 7973 0558
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2019
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Maternal-fetal attachment, the bond that forms between the mother and her foetus, has been found to be critical in the development of postnatal mother-child attachment (Rossen et al., 2016). It has also been identified as an integral component for optimum cognitive, behavioural and emotional development in children (Branjerdporn et al., 2017). However, the presence of women with complications of pregnancy have been under-represented in this evidence base. Given the impact of pregnancy complication on maternal wellbeing amongst other factors, and the critical importance of attachment, understanding the influence of these relationships is integral to developing prudent effective interventions. In the systematic review, the evidence for the possible relationship between pregnancy complication and maternal fetal attachment was synthesised and evaluated. The review suggested that owning to a paucity of studies, with low methodological rigour, results which are equivocal, need to be interpreted with some caution. Whilst some evidence for differences in maternal fetal attachment was observed for women with pregnancy complication, it is likely that others factors including special support, anxiety and depression are influential. The review also highlights the needs for further investigation into paternal mental health and paternal fetal attachment and how these factors impact on maternal fetal attachment and capacity for social support. The empirical paper examined maternal attachment, parenting stress, anxiety, depression, self-efficacy and social support in eighty-three women with experiences of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in pregnancy. The findings found women with HG to have higher scores on maternal attachment than age matched clinical and non-clinical samples. This is an important finding as in the absence of a unified aetiology, women with HG have been postulated to somatise symptoms of sickness as a rejection of the foetus or womanhood (Munch, 2002). Higher levels of parenting stress were found in the HG sample when compared to age matched samples with pre-term infant's. Findings suggest that while women with HG are highly attached to their infants, the experience of HG and its psychosocial sequelae may render women so ill they are unable to prepare for the role of parenthood. The final paper is a critical reflection on the research conducted. This paper includes a discussion of the rational, strengths and weakness of the systematic review and empirical paper as well as a critique of the broad methodological approach used. Clinical and theoretical implications, directions for future research and dissemination are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available