Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Mother to infant bonding is thought to be an important health outcome of nursing care during the perinatal period. Maternal attachment to the fetus may play a role in development of the subsequent bonding of a mother for her infant. Health professionals can have an impact on how a mother views her role performance, and is able to form a bond of attachment to her fetus and, subsequently, with her infant. Few studies, however, have been done to evaluate the relationship between the way a woman attaches to her fetus, and the way a new mother bonds with her infant. Therefore, this study seeks to answer the question, "Is there a relationship between maternal-fetal attachment and mother-to-inf a nt. bonding?"

Women participating in this study completed the Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale (MFAS) during the third trimester during contacts at Women's, Infants' and Children's (WIC) clinics, prenatal classes, or at work. The Mother and Baby Questionnaire (MABQ), a measure of maternal- infant bonding, was completed during the four to eight week postpartum period, either at the clinic, or after mailing to the subject's home. Pregnant women age 18 or older were invited to participate. A total of 55 women completed the prenatal questionnaire; 39 of these submitted usable packets of postpartum data.

Correlations among MFAS subscales ranged froit .27 to .54, Correlations among MABQ subscales varied from about 0 to .50. Correlations between MABQ subscales/modes and total scores were higher, ranging from .50 to .87. Correlations between MFAS and MABQ total scores were relatively low with r=.26 (p<.06). Subscales correlations of the MFAS and MABQ are also relatively low. Results of this study were discussed from theoretical and practice perspectives.