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Does haptotherapy benefit mother-child bonding in women with high fear of childbirth?

01 January 2018 | Research 2018 |

Klabbers G. A., Paarlberg K. M., Vingerhoets A .J. J. M.
Keywords| Haptotherapy| IJHH| mother-child bonding| pregnant women



To evaluate the effect of haptotherapy during pregnancy on mother-child bonding (MCB).

Population or Sample:

Primigravida and multigravida (N = 73).


Data were obtained from a randomized controlled trial study on treatment for severe fear of childbirth with haptotherapy. Fear of Childbirth (FOC) was evaluated using the Wijma Delivery Expectancy/Experience Questionnaire (W-DEQ) and mother-child bonding (MCB) by an online version of the Pictorial Representation of Attachment Measure (PRAM). Screen-positive women for severe FOC were randomly assigned either to a haptotherapy (HT) arm or a no-haptotherapy (No-HT) arm (psycho-education via internet or care as usual). In this group, a median split was carried out on the PRAM to allow focusing on the women with the 50% poorest MCB levels. Measurements were on four occasions: (T1) 20-24 weeks of gestation, (T2) 36 weeks of gestation, (T3) 6 weeks postpartum, and (T4) 6 months postpartum. Repeated measurements ANOVA was carried out on the basis of the as-treated principle.

Main Outcome Measures:

MCB measured with the PRAM across two measurement occasions T1 and T4. Results: In the group of women with high MCB, we found no statistically significant difference in the mean PRAM change scores between the HT arm and the no HT-arm, F(3, 69) = 2.009, p = .121. However, in the group of women with low MCB, women in the HT arm showed a statistically significant greater improvement of mother-child bonding than in the no-HT, F(3, 69) = 2.877, p = .042.

Conclusion: Haptotherapy during pregnancy can statistically significantly increase mother-child bonding in women with a high fear of childbirth and a poor MCB as compared with psycho-education via internet or care as usual.

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Volume 6

No. 1
  • Publication date:
    January 1, 2018
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How to cite (apa)
Klabbers, G. A., Paarlberg, M., & Vingerhoets, A. J. (2018). Does haptotherapy benefit mother-child bonding in women with high fear of childbirth?. In International Journal of Haptonomy and Haptotherapy (Vol. 6, Issue 1, pp. 1-7).
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