Associations of rooming-in with maternal postpartum bonding: the impact of mothers' pre-delivery intentions.


Handelzalts JE(1), Levy S(2), Molmen-Lichter M(2), Muzik M(3), Krissi H(4), Wiznitzer A(4), Peled Y(4).
Author information:
(1)School of Behavioral Sciences, Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Tel-Aviv, Israel; Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States. Electronic address: [Email]
(2)School of Behavioral Sciences, Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yafo, Tel-Aviv, Israel.
(3)Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, United States; Department Obstetrics & Gynecology, University of Michigan - Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI, United States.
(4)The Helen Schneider Hospital for Women, Rabin Medical Center, Petach-Tikva, Israel; Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel.


OBJECTIVE: Full rooming-in, that is, mother and baby staying together for 24 hours per day after birth in the hospital, has been suggested as beneficial for positive maternal bonding. However, it has never been studied directly. We aimed to examine the association of full versus partial rooming-in and maternal bonding to her infant during the post-childbirth hospital stay. STUDY DESIGN: Longitudinal questionnaire study. SETTING: Maternity ward of a large tertiary health care center in Israel. PARTICIPANTS: The sample consisted of postpartum women (N = 293) in a maternity ward of a tertiary health care center who were fully or partially rooming-in. MEASUREMENTS AND FINDINGS: Questionnaires were administered at two time points, immediately after childbirth (T1; days 1-4) and 2 months postpartum (T2). The Childbirth Experience Questionnaire (CEQ), breastfeeding questions, and the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) were administered at T1; the PBQ was repeated at T2. Regression analysis revealed that the rooming-in mode did not significantly predict bonding at 1-4 days postpartum. However, the rooming-in mode was a significant predictor of bonding at two months postpartum only for women who practiced the rooming-in mode they had initially planned (Beta = 0.12, p < .05), while controlling for other demographic as well as obstetric variables. Women who chose and practiced partial rooming-in manifested more bonding difficulties than those who chose and practiced full rooming-in. These distinctions in bonding were not manifested when including in the analysis women who partially rooming-in, but not in accordance with their intentions. CONCLUSIONS: Mother-infant bonding may be optimally supported when women's pre-labor desires to participate in full rooming-in are fulfilled. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Hospital staff should be aware of the mothers' intentions regarding full rooming-in requests and make sincere efforts to accommodate and support their wishes.