Aim: The aim of this study was to investigate maternal-foetal attachment at 9, 12 and 20 weeks gestation and to identify factors that influenced maternal-foetal attachment in Taiwanese women who conceived by in vitro fertilization. Background: Development of maternal-foetal attachment is an important part of taking on the maternal role. However, evidence about maternal-foetal attachment after assisted conception is inconclusive. Design: A longitudinal design with repeated measures. Methods: A prospective, longitudinal design with repeated measures was used. Over an 18-month period in 2006-2008, a convenience sample of 160 women who conceived after undergoing successful in vitro fertilization were recruited from a major infertility care centre in Taiwan. Data were collected by self-reported measures, including: (1) Maternal-Foetal Attachment Scale; (2) Symptoms Checklist; (3) Pregnancy-related Anxiety Scale; (4) Social Support Apgar; (5) Chinese childbearing attitude Questionnaire; and (6) Awareness of Foetus Scale. The selected instruments to measure each variable were administered to participants at 9, 12 and 20 weeks gestation. Results: Maternal-foetal attachment increased as pregnancy progressed from 9 to 20 weeks gestation. General linear mixed model showed predictors of maternal-foetal attachment included Chinese childbearing attitude, awareness of the foetus, and social support. Conclusion: Health provider awareness of cultural influences on the development of early maternal-foetal attachment of women pregnant by in vitro fertilization is needed. Prenatal education in early pregnancy might incorporate more information about foetal development to allow the mother to visualize her unborn child. Providing social support for women who were conceived by in vitro fertilization is beneficial to the development of maternal-foetal attachment.
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