Maternal-fetal attachment as a natural phenomenon of pregnancy and maternity development: A review

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Pregnancy is the most important stage in the formation of motherhood, maternal programming. An integral component of this process is maternal-fetal attachment, which can be defined as the bonds between a woman and a fetus that depend on the cognitive and emotional abilities to perceive another human being and include thoughts, behavior, emotions and relationships. The formation of maternal-fetal attachment is presumably due to the high plasticity of the brain of a pregnant woman, which results in significant structural and functional changes in its individual structures. The study of maternal-fetal attachment is possible using standardized questionnaires, one of which is the Maternal Antenatal Attachment Scale. The paper provides the Russian version of this questionnaire and its reference values. Maternal-fetal attachment depends on the personality characteristics of the woman and, to a lesser extent, on socio-demographic factors, and its characteristics have a prognostic value for the psychological and somatic health of the mother and child. Assessment of maternal-fetal attachment and its optimization should be considered as an integral component of medical and psychological support for pregnant women.

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About the authors

Igor A. Kelmanson

Almazov National Medical Research Centre; Saint Petersburg State Institute of Psychology and Social Work

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4449-2786

D. Sci. (Med.), Prof.

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg; Saint Petersburg


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Fig. 1. Reference values (centiles) of the quality index of antenatal attachment depending on the timing of gestation [40].

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2. Fig. 2. Reference values (centiles) of the indicator of the intensity of antenatal attachment depending on the timing of gestation [40].

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3. Fig. 3. Reference values (centiles) of the total indicator of antenatal attachment depending on the timing of gestation [40].

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