Objective: To evaluate the relationship between assisted reproduction technology (ART) and parental mental representations during late pregnancy and early parenthood.
Study design: Women (n=25) following ART pregnancies were compared with their partners (n=23) and with women following spontaneous conceptions (n=39). Subjects were interviewed on mental representations at late gestation and three months postpartum.
Results: Socio-demographic and obstetrical characteristics were similar between groups. ART women tend to decrease scores of intensity of investment from before to after delivery. During pregnancy and postpartum, ambivalent representations were more often present and well-integrated representations were less often present among ART women as compared with non-ART women. ART women had significantly more ambivalent representations that persisted at three months postpartum, and men had more disengaged representations.
Conclusions: A greater desire for pregnancy exists in ART women which might not always coincide with a desire for maternity. ART men, however, manifest greater disengagement from the entire child project.
©2009 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York