The impact of two-dimensional versus three-dimensional ultrasound exposure on maternal-fetal attachment and maternal health behavior in pregnancy

B. Sedgmen, C. McMahon*, D. Cairns, R. J. Benzie, R. L. Woodfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To explore the impact of timing and type of ultrasound, particularly three-dimensional (3D), exposure on maternal-fetal attachment and maternal health behavior during pregnancy. Methods: Subjects were 68 women aged 18 years or older expecting their first child who presented for a routine ultrasound scan at around either 12 or 18 weeks' gestation in Nepean Hospital, Western Sydney. Women completed questionnaires assessing maternal-fetal attachment and health behavior, and were then allocated arbitrarily to either two-dimensional (2D) or 3D ultrasound examination. Repeat questionnaires were completed 1 week later. Results: Maternal-fetal attachment increased after both 2D and 3D ultrasound exposure, and the effect was moderated by the timing of exposure, with women receiving their first ultrasound examination at around 12 weeks showing the greatest change. Alcohol consumption was the only behavior to show significant change following ultrasound exposure, with a reduction in the reported average number of drinks per week. There was no significant difference in the pattern of change for 2D compared with 3D ultrasound exposure, and no effect of ultrasound exposure on maternal perception of the fetus. Conclusions: Ultrasound has a positive impact on maternal-fetal attachment, particularly in the first trimester. 3D ultrasound did not offer enhanced benefits. Associations between ultrasound exposure and alcohol consumption warrant further investigation. Larger samples are needed to clarify the moderating effects of gestational age and type of ultrasound exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-251
Number of pages7
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

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