Interactions between mothers and their moderate preterm babies during hospitalization

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Moderately preterm infants are physiologically immature, their brains must mature and adapt to the extrauterine environment, which can affect their neurological development. Interaction with their caregivers is crucial for their development, however, these may show mental health problems such as depressive symptoms and parental stress. Objective: to evaluate how depressive symptomatology and stress perception of mothers of moderately preterm infants during hospitalization may affect dyad interaction. Patients and Method: 85 dyads participated. During the second and third weeks of hospitalization, mothers answered a sociodemographic questionnaire, the parental stress scale, and the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale. Mother-infant interaction was assessed and coded with the Hospitalized other-Infant Bonding Observation Scale. Results: mothers of moderately preterm infants hospitalized in a neonatology unit may present significant depressive symptomatology which correlate with the stress experienced by the mother. Parental stress and being small for gestational age showed a negative association with dyad interactions. Conclusions: Having a moderately preterm baby can impact the mental health of mothers and this, at the same time, is related to the interactions they have with their children. Likewise, variables related to the babies were detected that can also decrease the interactions and contact between the dyad.



Preterm Birth, Depressive Symptoms, Parental Stress, Mother-Infant Interaction


Andes pediatr. 2022;93(6):889-897. DOI: 10.32641/andespediatr.v93i6.4023