Document Type

Honors Thesis


Bonding is important to establish an early relationship but a challenge to mothers with infants in NICU. The aim of this study was to determine if a longer length of time an infant requires NICU admission is associated with impaired maternal-infant bonding. A secondary goal explored associations and effects of maternal depression and anxiety upon bonding via the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ), Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), and a subscale of the EPDS for anxiety. A descriptive design was used to explore mental health and bonding among 45 NICU mothers who were at least 18 years old and could speak, read, and write in English. Study results revealed that neither NICU length of stay, anxiety, nor depression significantly predicted impaired bonding. However, bonding scores significantly correlated with anxiety and depression variables; thus, despite a small sample size, mental health assessments are important in the postpartum care of mothers with NICU infants.

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