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MATERNAL GRIEVING AND THE PERCEPTION OF AND ATTACHMENT TO CHILDREN BORN SUBSEQUENT TO A PERINATAL LOSS

Journal title
Infant mental health journal
Publication year
2016
Author(s)
Al-Maharma, D. Y.; Abujaradeh, H.; Mahmoud, K. F.; Jarrad, R. A.
Pages
411-23
Volume
37
Number
4

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between maternal grieving for perinatal loss (PL) and the perception of and attachment to children born subsequent to a recent PL among mothers in Jordan. A cross-sectional, descriptive correlational design was used. A convenience sample of 190 mothers of full-term, healthy newborns born subsequent to a recent PL was recruited from seven Maternal and Child Health Care Centers in Jordan. These mothers were assessed using the Perinatal Grief Scale (L.J. Toedter, J.N. Lasker, & J.M. Alhadeff), 1988, the Maternal Postnatal Attachment Scale (J.T. Condon & C.J. Corkindale, 1998), and the Neonatal Perception Inventory II (E. Broussard, 1979). Results showed a significant negative relationship between grief intensity and the attachment level, r = -.37, p = .000, and a significant positive relationship between the attachment level and neonatal perception, r = .28, p = .000. Mothers’ grief intensity was significantly affected by their demographic characteristics; however, there was no significant relationship between grief intensity and neonatal perception, r = .23, p = .23. Perinatal grief was negatively related to maternal attachment to the subsequent child. Nurses should address bereaved mothers and their children who might be at risk for developing attachment disturbances to facilitate positive adaptation to the subsequent pregnancy and parenthood.

Research abstracts