J Korean Acad Nurs.  2011 Apr;41(2):276-283. 10.4040/jkan.2011.41.2.276.

Relationship of Prenatal Stress and Depression to Maternal-Fetal Attachment and Fetal Growth

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nursing, Kwandong University, Gangneung, Korea.
  • 2College of Nursing, The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea. ksbang@snu.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
Prenatal depression is associated with potential negative consequences for the mother and infant. The purpose of this study was to examine pregnant women's stress, and depression and their impact on maternal-fetal attachment and fetal growth.
METHODS
Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and fetal sonogram from a convenience sample of 166 pregnant women.
RESULTS
Women who have a low educational level, poor health and are dissatisfied with their marriage showed low maternal-fetal attachment. Prenatal depression had significant correlations with length of pregnancy and level of stress. Even though correlation between maternal stress and fetal weight (r=-.15, p=.099) and correlation between maternal depression and maternal-fetal attachment (r=-.13, p=.095) were not statistically significant, the impact of the prenatal psychological state of mothers can not be ignored as it relates to fetal health.
CONCLUSION
Maternal-fetal attachment and fetal growth can be affected by maternal emotional state, including stress or depression. These findings suggest that primary care nurses in hospitals and public health centers should provide prenatal depression screening and nursing intervention programs for management and prevention of prenatal stress and depression.

Keyword

Pregnant women; Psychological stress; Depression; Fetal weight

MeSH Terms

*Depression
Female
Fetal Development/*physiology
Health Status
Humans
Maternal-Fetal Relations/psychology
Mothers/*psychology
Pregnancy
Questionnaires
*Stress, Psychological
Ultrasonography, Prenatal
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