An Examination of Attachment, Bonding and the Role of Prenatal Diagnostic Testing in Low Risk Pregnancy and Pregnancies Resulting in Neonatal Death
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Mental health and wellbeing following the loss of a baby is a topic of significant interest due to both the short term and long term impact that such a loss may have on individuals and families. While there is an abundance of research on the topic of attachment pertaining both to children and children with illnesses, there seems to be a lack of information regarding the psychological impact of a terminal prenatal diagnosis leading to infant death occurring during the neonatal period. The unique circumstances surrounding neonatal death requires that the subject be examined separately from infant deaths occurring outside of the neonatal period or infant death without a prenatal diagnosis. This thesis examines attachment and bond formation of parents in both low risk pregnancies and in pregnancies involving prenatal terminal diagnosis. An in depth review of existing research literature was conducted to explore the topic. The review of the literature examined the impact of prenatal diagnostic testing, including testing that resulted in a terminal diagnosis, on the attachment and bond formation as well as grief response of parents.