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Sex Reprod Healthc. 2013 Dec;4(4):133-8. doi: 10.1016/j.srhc.2013.10.004. Epub 2013 Oct 18.

Maternal development experiences of women hospitalized to prevent preterm birth.

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University of Texas Medical Branch, School of Nursing and Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Division of Sociomedical Sciences, 301 University Blvd., Galveston, TX 77555-1029, USA. Electronic address:



To examine ways that women's experience of hospitalization with bed rest to prevent preterm birth impacts prenatal maternal development.


Interviews based on the Interview Schedules for Dimensions of Maternal Development in Psychosocial Adaptation to Pregnancy were conducted at a hospital in the southwestern United States with a convenience sample of 41 women during confinement to bed rest to prevent preterm birth. The interviews were recorded, and verbatim transcripts were submitted to thematic analysis.


Five themes were mapped from the women's narratives: (1) acceptance of pregnancy, but with fears specific to elevated risks to self and baby; (2) heightened identification with motherhood and fatherhood protector roles; (3) renewal or deepening of mother-daughter closeness intensified by high-risk pregnancy; (4) enhanced couple support and collaboration; and (5) acceptance of responsibility to perform in remaining pregnant and preparing for labor, but willingness to accept help from doctors and nurses.


This study of hospitalization to prevent preterm birth showed that women experience hospitalization as a burden to be endured to meet future goals, but that it also can facilitate prenatal maternal development in psychosocial adaptation to high risk pregnancy. Implications for research and practice are discussed.


Antepartum bed rest; High-risk pregnancy; Maternal development; Prenatal or Pregnancy Anxiety; Psychosocial adaptation

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