Am J Perinatol 2018; 35(06): 578-582
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1639362
Original Article
Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

The Mother–Child Relationship during the First Months of Life: Preliminary Considerations in Preterm as Compared with Term Mother–Infant Dyads

S. Spairani
1  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, Department of Brain and Behavioural Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
2  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
,
C. Pisoni
3  Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, IRCCS Foundation Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy
,
G. Ariaudo
1  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, Department of Brain and Behavioural Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
2  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
,
M. Moncecchi
2  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
,
U. Balottin
1  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, Department of Brain and Behavioural Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
2  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
,
Paolo Manzoni
4  Neonatology and NICU, S. Anna Hospital, Torino, Italy
,
C. Tinelli
5  Clinical Epidemiology and Biometric Unit, IRCCS Foundation Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy
,
B. Gardella
6  Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IRCCS Foundation Policlinico San Matteo and University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
,
P. Politi
7  Department of Brain and Behavioral Sciences, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
,
Chryssoula Tzialla
3  Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, IRCCS Foundation Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy
,
Mauro Stronati
3  Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, IRCCS Foundation Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy
,
S. Orcesi
2  Child Neurology and Psychiatry Unit, IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Funding This study was supported by grants of the Italian Ministry of Health RC 2010–2017 to Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy and by grants of the Italian Ministry of Health RC 2013–2016 to IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy. No external funding was secured for this study.
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
25 April 2018 (online)

Abstract

Introduction From the prognostic perspective, the quality of the mother–child relationship during the first months of life has been variously associated with different factors such as the child's psychomotor/cognitive development and emotional–behavioral disorders.

Methods The main aim of this study was to describe, at term age and 3 months of corrected age, the features and the prevalent patterns of the mother–child relationship in a group of 20 mother–preterm infant dyads and to compare them with those of a group of 20 mother–term infant dyads.

Results A relatively high rate of inadequate dyadic synchrony was found in our sample of preterms at 40 weeks of gestational age (half of the sample analyzed). The quality of the dyadic relationship and the prevalent patterns of the mother–child relationship were found to differ between the two groups we studied; moreover, the subjects at risk of relational problems remained substantially the same during the first 3 months of life.

Discussion These data underline that in preterm children, the first weeks of life, coinciding with their hospitalization, represent a crucial time for establishing a valid dyadic relationship and for considering and planning any preventive interventions; after all, the earlier the risk of relational problems becomes a real possibility, the more likely it is to negatively impact on a child's overall development.