Prenatal Attachment Among Thai Pregnant Adolescents: A Qualitative Study

Songklanagarind Journal of Nursing, Volume 40 No. 1 January – March 2020: 1-14

Maneeratsami Pattanasombutsook, Busakorn Punthmatharith, Sopen Chunuan, Mark Hayter, Moira E Graham


          Prenatal attachment positively influences maternal-fetal health and the well-being of the child after birth. However, seldom are studies describing prenatal attachment among Thai pregnant adolescents found. This study aimed to explore the composition of prenatal attachment among Thai pregnant adolescents. A qualitative approach was employed. Thirteen in-depth interviews and a focus group interview (n = 3) were conducted with Thai pregnant adolescents, 15 – 19 years of age, attending routine care at the antenatal care (ANC) clinic between September 2016 and January 2017. Data were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a content analysis method.         
          Three categories emerged from the data: cognitive attachment, affective attachment, and behavioral attachment. Cognitive attachment consisted of ‘accepting the baby’, ‘being curious and imagining the baby’, ‘being concerned about the baby’s health’, and ‘wanting to be a good mother’. Affective attachment consisted of ‘feeling glad to have the baby’, ‘loving, attaching, and ‘having a sense of ownership’, and ‘feeling connected to the baby’. Behavioral attachment consisted of ‘communicating and interacting with the baby’, ‘taking good care of self for the well-being of the baby’, and ‘preparing for the baby’s arrival’. These findings provide a better understanding of the composition of prenatal attachment among Thai pregnant adolescents.