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Maternal-fetal relationships and psychological health: Emerging research directions

Walsh, Judi; Hepper, Erica G.; Bagge, Sophie R.; Wadephul, Franziska; Jomeen, Julie


Judi Walsh

Erica G. Hepper

Sophie R. Bagge

Franziska Wadephul


Maternal representations of, and relationships with, the unborn baby appear to be associated with psychological health in pregnancy and beyond, and might play an important role in identifying women who need additional support, as well as providing an arena to develop positive pregnancy experiences. The mechanisms and pathways linking maternal-fetal relationships, psychological health, and important outcomes are complex. This article provides an overview of some of the key findings in this area and identifies some important emerging directions for future research: the nature and form of maternal-fetal relationships and how best to measure them, the mediating and moderating factors linking maternal-fetal relationships with psychological health and other outcomes in pregnancy and beyond, and the importance and acceptability of the concept of maternal-fetal relationships to women.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2013
Journal Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Print ISSN 0264-6838
Electronic ISSN 1469-672X
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 31
Issue 5
Pages 490-499
APA6 Citation Walsh, J., Hepper, E. G., Bagge, S. R., Wadephul, F., & Jomeen, J. (2013). Maternal-fetal relationships and psychological health: Emerging research directions. Journal of reproductive and infant psychology, 31(5), 490-499. doi:10.1080/02646838.2013.834311
Keywords Renatal attachment; Antenatal attachment; Bonding; Psychological health; Parenting
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