Maternal-Fetal Attachment and the Sense of Coherence: Study of Some Related Factors

Monday, 22 July 2013

Isabel Mendes, PhD, RN
UCP of Maternal, Obstetric and Ginecology Nursing, Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Marta Baptista, RN
Centro Hospitalar Oeste Norte - serviço de Ginecologia/Obstetrícia/ Bloco de Partos, Centro Hospitalar Oeste Norte – Hospital Caldas da Rainha, Caldas da Rainha, Portugal

Learning Objective 1: Recognize the interest of assess the sense of coherence of pregnant women and its related factors for developing care plan to their personal context

Learning Objective 2: Understand the importance of assess the maternal fetal attachment to promote an adequate transition to motherhood during pregnancy.

Purpose: To analyze the association between the SOC’s and MFA of pregnant and some socio-demographic, obstetric, relational and lifestyle factors, in the 1st and 2nd half of pregnancy.

Background: the maternal-fetal attachment (MFA) may, itself or through a relationship with the sense of coherence (SOC), be decisive for the adoption of healthy lifestyles, and also, to the notion that the prenatal period represents an opportunity to the reeducation of the pregnant woman and her family.


Descriptive and correlational study with a non-probabilistic sample of 130 pregnant women form two groups: G1: 63 pregnant of 1st half of pregnancy, and G2: 67 pregnant of 2nd half of pregnancy. For data collection it was used a questionnaire composed by socio-demographic and obstetric questions and three scales, all validated to Portuguese population: Guidance for Living Questionnaire (Saboga Nunes, 1999); Adult Bonding Scale (Canavarro, 1995); Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale (Mendes & Canavarro, 1998).


We point out that the variables frequency of meals, occupation and attachment prototype suggest an influence only in the 1st half of pregnancy, while the consumption of tobacco and the relational variable MFA influence the SOC throughout pregnancy. The results suggest that the evolution of pregnancy does not affect the MFA, and shows only statistically significance in the 1st half of pregnancy related to variables such as frequency of meals, tobacco consumption and attachment prototype.


The results contribute to the knowledge about how MFA and SOC are associated with some factors and to analyze their influence during pregnancy. Allow midwives, in the context of prenatal care, to be more attentive to outwit changes in MFA and SOC of pregnant women, and by this way define integrative and facilitator’s interventions to ensure quality in maternal-fetal care.