The Effect of Psychological Intervention on Mother-Infant Bonding and Breastfeeding

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pediatrics, Maternal Pediatric Health Specialist, Institute of Family Health, Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Health Research Center, Vali ASR Hospital, Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

2 Clinical Psychologist, Institute of Family Health, Maternal, Fetal and Neonatal Health Research Center, Vali Asr Hospital, Iranian Research Centers of HIV/AIDS Imam Khomeini Hospital Complex, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran


Background: The emotional bond that a mother feels towards her infant is critical to their social, emotional, and cognitive development. This concept has a major influence on an infant’s future health, and growth, so the assessment of parental-fetal attachment and related factors is of great importance. This study aimed to examine the effect of psychological intervention on attachment and persistency of lactation.
Methods: This clinical trial was carried out on 71 pregnant women who visited Milad and Vali-Asr hospitals in Tehran, Iran. The subjects were selected by convenience sampling method and randomly divided into control (n=36) and intervention (n=35) groups. In the intervention group, the subjects received three sessions of supportive group psychotherapy supplemented by training packages. Avant’s mother-infant attachment behavior questionnaire, Maternal Attachment Inventory, 28-item General Health Questionnaire, and the short form of the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory were used to evaluate attachment behaviors and related factors. Attachment of mothers was examined at six different times. Statistical data was analyzed using independent t-test, Fisher’s exact test.
Results: The findings indicated that the intervention group had increased attachment and breastfeeding persistency (P˂0.001). Regression test also showed that maternal attachment was significantly influenced by psychological interventions, self-esteem, and depression (P˂0.001).
Conclusion: According to the results, psychological interventions are suggested during pregnancy to increase attachment and breastfeeding persistency, and thereby, improve mental health of both mother and newborn.


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