Risk and protective factors in maternal-fetal attachment development

Camilla Pisoni, Francesca Garofoli, Chryssoula Tzialla, Simona Orcesi, Arsenio Spinillo, Pierluigi Politi, Umberto Balottin, Paolo Manzoni, Mauro Stronati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prenatal attachment can be described as the parents' emotions, perceptions and behaviors that are related to the fetus. This relationship has been described as the most basic form of the human intimacy and represents the earlier internalized representation of the fetus that both parents typically acquire and elaborate during pregnancy. The quality of the relationship between an infant and his or her parent is an important factor influencing the child's later development, both cognitive and emotional. There is evidence - even though yet unclear - that demographic, perinatal and psychological variables may correlate with attachment. In this perspective, it is essential to recognize the factors influencing attachment of parents towards their fetus and to planning psychosocial interventions in antepartum units or in obstetric clinics, in order to preserve a positive physical and emotional development of the infant and to provide family-centered prenatal care. Particular attention should be paid to women hospitalized for a high-risk pregnancy, since this condition involves a high distress that often results in feelings of anxiety and depression, that can hinder an adequate mother-fetus attachment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S45-S46
JournalEarly Human Development
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Attachment
  • Bonding
  • Motherhood
  • Risk pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Medicine(all)


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