Promoting Maternal-Fetal Attachment with Women Affected by HIV and/or Substance Use

Promoting Maternal-Fetal Attachment with Women Affected by HIV and/or Substance Use
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 Maternal-fetal attachment (MFA) defines the relationship between a pregnant woman and her fetus and is demonstrated through the expression of her feelings and behaviors. It often begins when the woman learns that she is pregnant, and increases dramatically as she feels the baby grow and move within her body. Through a continuously evolving thought process, the woman develops an internal representation of her unborn baby, and begins the complicated psychological task of identifying as a mother, while simultaneously accepting the fetus as a unique individual who is separate from her. Often, this process is enjoyable, providing a mixture of fantasies and thoughts about the realistic expectations of pregnancy and impending parenthood.