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Preexamination And Postexamination Assessment Of Parental-fetal Bonding In Patients Undergoing 3-/4-dimensional Obstetric Ultrasonography.

D. Pretorius, S. Gattu, Eun-kyung Ji, K. Hollenbach, R. Newton, A. Hull, S. Carmona, D. D'Agostini, T. Nelson
Published 2006 · Medicine

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OBJECTIVE The purpose of this study was to determine whether there is a change in parental bonding and couples' attitudes toward their fetus after undergoing 3-/4-dimensional ultrasonography (3D/4DUS). METHODS Sixty-five fathers and 124 mothers were asked to fill out a maternal-fetal attachment questionnaire relating to how they felt about their fetus before and after 3D/4DUS and to mark on a line indicating their feelings about the ultrasonography experience. In addition, 135 parents filled out a positive feelings questionnaire consisting of 5 sections assessing their feelings about the fetus. The 3D/4DUS examination included rendering of the fetal face, limbs, and thorax. RESULTS One hundred forty-two patients filled out all questions and were analyzed for the total attachment score. The difference of the total score for the maternal-fetal attachment questionnaire before and after 3D/4DUS had a z value of 5.6 for all patients and was statistically significant (P < .0001). In analyzing each question, 5 were found to have a statistically significantly different score for women, but only 2 were found so for men. The scores for the line, before and after 3D/4DUS, showed a significant difference for men but not women. The women studied did not show a change using this instrument because their median response was at the maximum measurement before their sonograms. The positive feelings questionnaire showed a statistically significant change for women in all sections but for men in only 2. CONCLUSIONS Parents have a change in attitude regarding their fetus after undergoing 3D/4DUS. Mothers showed an increase in bonding to their fetus after 3D/4DUS in more categories than fathers.
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