A new study has shown that prenatal interaction is associated with the development of the child in their later years.
Mothers who “connect” with their baby during pregnancy are more likely to interact in a more positive way with their infant after it is born. Interaction is important for helping infants learn and develop.
“Studies have shown that parent-child interaction is crucial for a child’s development and learning, so we wanted to understand if there were prenatal signs that might predict a parent’s behaviour,” said lead author Sarah Foley from the University of Cambridge.
In the study published in the journal Developmental Review, the team carried out a meta-analysis of 14 studies that analysed data from 1,862 parents, examining their thoughts and feelings about the child during pregnancy. Expectant parents were considered to have a “balanced” representation of their child if they showed positive anticipation of their relationship with the child or showed “mind-mindedness” — a propensity to see their child as an individual, with its own thoughts and feelings.