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Guided Imagery Heightens Attachment to Baby in Women with Unplanned Pregnancies

29 Sep

Researchers from Mashhad University of Medical Sciences in Mashhad, Iran, investigated the effect of guided imagery on maternal-fetal attachment in 67 nulliparous women (women with no children) experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. The average woman’s age was 24 years, and most had a high school education.

The women were randomly divided into two intervention groups (n=35) and a control group (n=32). Assessment measures included a demographic form and London, DASS 21, and the Cranley Maternal-Fetal Attachment Questionnaire.

The intervention group received one session of guided imagery at the 34th week of pregnancy, in small groups of four to seven women.  Afterwards, they received guided imagery CDs, for listening at home twice a week for two weeks. The control group received routine care.  Maternal-fetal attachment was assessed before the intervention and two weeks post.

The investigators found that maternal-fetal attachment was significantly higher (p=0.04) in the guided imagery group than in the controls (94.26±6.7 vs 90.22 ± 9.5). Additionally, the mean attachment score rose significantly in the guided imagery group from the beginning to the end of the intervention, as contrasted with the controls (5.86±7.2 vs. 1.72±3.2, significance of p=0.004).

The research team concluded that guided imagery promoted maternal-fetal attachment in women with unplanned pregnancies, and they recommend this method for prenatal care for those under similar circumstances.

Citation: Masoumeh Kordi;. Negar Asgharipour. Habibollah Esmaily Effect of Guided Imagery on Maternal Fetal Attachment in Nulliparous Women with Unplanned Pregnancy Journal of Midwifery and Reproductive Health Article 1,Volume 4, Issue 4, October 2016, pp. 1-9.

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Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award