Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Editorial

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Editorial

Article excerpt

The theme that weaves in and through our three articles in this issue is that a number of psychological aspects of mothers' experiences and conditions before and after birth can affect the postpartum period. The emphasis may be primarily on the mothers (and also to the mother-infant relationships), but these studies can be added to the growing body of literature where examining the mother's experiences can shed light on what is going on in the child as well.

The first article is by Dorit Segal-Engelchin and colleagues from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel entitled, Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum Experiences of Israeli Women in the Negev. Readers might take notice of how skillfully this study was designed, specifically, fully utilizing data from a larger study, that then can become the focus of a more narrow and detailed investigation. These researchers studied 302 Israeli women examining the associations between negative pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum experiences. One of the findings was that traumatic and negative births significantly increased the risk of PPD. They go on to point to the importance of identifying appropriate interventions prior to birth.

Transition to Parenthood Among Drug Abusing Mothers: Stressors, Supports, Coping and Mental Health is the second quantitative study by Belt et al., from Finland's University of Helsinki. These authors investigated the impact of drug abuse on prenatal resources such as, social support and coping strategies, along with the mental health problems of depression, pregnancy distress and hostility, and analyzed whether they would be able to predict postpartum mental health. From the article: "Although preliminary, our findings encourage us to believe that it is possible to reduce transferring the negative burden of the substance abusing mother to the child by helping [her] to cope and to give her social and psychological support during the transition period from pregnancy to postpartum. …

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