The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 15, Issue 3, Autumn 2015

Michelle N. Armendariz, Dorothy S. Martinez
Pages 443-451

The Formation of the Maternal–Fetal Relationship
A Reflection on the Findings of Modern Medicine

Previously conducted research has determined that physiological and psychophysiological communications evident during pregnancy are vital to the bond formed prenatally. These innate biological responses are further enhanced through psychophysiological factors, such as maternal prenatal stress, which attest to the essential communication between a mother and child in maternal–fetal attachment. A consideration of these factors is necessary with the increase in assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, and elective cesarean section, as this may affect the development of the maternal–fetal bond. It would be of benefit to the child, the mother, and every society to seek a more complete understanding of the intricate maternal–fetal bond, as the first friendship developed at the beginning of human life.