Effects of a mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting program on maternal-fetal attachment: A randomized controlled trial among Iranian pregnant women

Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2020 Nov:41:101226. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2020.101226. Epub 2020 Aug 14.


Background and purpose: Although mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting is suggested to promote maternal-fetal attachment, no study has yet addressed its potential effects. This study aimed to determine the effects of a mindfulness-based childbirth and parenting program on maternal-fetal attachment among Iranian pregnant women.

Materials and methods: This study was conducted on pregnant women, who were divided into two groups to either receive routine care plus mindfulness training for childbirth and parenting (i.e., eight 2-h group sessions once a week and one 3-h session of silent meditation) or receive routine care alone. Maternal-fetal attachment was evaluated by the Cranley's Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale.

Results: After the intervention, the total score of maternal-fetal attachment was significantly higher in the experimental group (P < 0.001; effect size = 0.640). In the intervention group, all dimensions of maternal-fetal attachment significantly improved, except the dimension of "differentiation of self from the fetus", whereas in the control group, only the dimension of "attributing characteristics to the fetus" improved.

Conclusion: The implemented program in this study was potentially effective in promoting maternal-fetal attachment.

Keywords: Maternal-fetal relations; Mindfulness; Parenting; Pregnancy; Prenatal education.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Mindfulness*
  • Parenting
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women*