Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Editorial

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Editorial

Article excerpt

In our lead article, family practice physician and psychologist, Lewis Mehl-Madrona adds to his list of decisive research studies illuminating the psychological foundations of birth. In this study, 485 pregnant women were prospectively assessed for psychosocial factors related to birth complications. Two factors-fear of birth and partner supportstrongly discriminated between complicated and uncomplicated birth. These clear findings favor the developing family practice model of obstetrics in which attention is directed at the psychosocial aspects of prenatal care as well as the biological. Variables identified in this study can be easily recognized and rated by clinicians who do not have extensive psychological training including midwives, nurses, nurse practitioners and obstetricians. According to this authority, avoiding the psychosocial realm in conventional obstetrical care can no longer be justified.

Inspired by a framework of empirical findings of prenatal consciousness, technical writer George Grider has provided us with a rare chronicle of his son's life before birth. We print this engaging work with the fervent hope that other parents will take up the pen and write their own children about the traditionally overlooked environmental forces that were in play during their personal odyssey from conception to birth.

We are indebted to a team of three working together in the country of Belarus for extending our knowledge of the often hidden psychological after-effects of abortion on women. Empirical analysis of the experiences of 150 women revealed that about half met the criteria for post traumatic stress disorder. Key psychological factors in predicting PTSD were their beliefs about the prenatal life of the fetus, their degree of emotional attachment to the fetus, and the length of the pregnancy before abortion. Importantly, findings in this part of the world where abortion was a standard and accepted method of birth control, seem to be psychologically consistent with findings from the United States and other parts of the world. …

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