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PREGNANCY PSYCHOLOGY

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PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDERS DURING PREGNANCY

The arrival of a son, and expected the same, constitute one of the happiest life events for prospective parents. However, not always.

The mother’s mental health, psychiatric and psychological history of women, stressful life events, the desirability of having a child are among the factors that may affect the happiness and welfare of prospective parents and in particular the women.

Thus, motherhood is not always a period that generates happiness, and that protects women from any psychological problem.

The possibility of having some kind of psychological problem in pregnancy is not at all exceptional. Previous psychological problems may occur or which may be difficult to be treated as adequate coping during pregnancy and can determine the proper functioning in the postpartum period.

Similarly, these symptoms may appear in high-risk pregnancies in prenatal diagnosis malformation, abortions, etc. Whereupon, it would be necessary to put in the hands of a specialist.

FREQUENTLY EMOTIONS

  • Depressed mood and sadness
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of enthusiasm for the baby
  • Feelings of rejection towards the baby
  • Other

OTHER CONSEQUENCES

  • Poor nutrition
  • Unsuitable Care
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Other

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF LEFT UNTREATED

  • Risk of preterm birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Postpartum Psychopathology
  • Alteration of the bond between mother and son
  • Worse postpartum adjustment

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POSTPARTUM PSYCHOLOGY

 

EThe postpartum period is a risk for the onset, relapse or recurrence of psychiatric and psychological disorders, especially those related to mood.

One of the most common psychological disorders in this period is postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is expressed with the same symptoms as depression, but it starts after the first 4 weeks postpartum.

MOST COMMON REACTIONS

  • Sadness / depressed mood
  • Lack of enthusiasm for things in general and the particular baby
  • Guilt about not being able to watch the baby as they would like
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Fatigue
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Fear of losing control and hurting the baby
  • Feelings of rejection towards the baby

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF LEFT UNTREATED

  • The worsening state of the mother’s emotional
  • Lack of adaptation to changes of parenthood
  • Alteration of mother-child bond
  • Decreased quality of relationships between mother and son

In general, it is important to help women adapt to new strategies for equipping period to the next stage and its future in an appropriate manner.

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ABSTRACT

Rich (1993), in her war-time study of psychological variables in pregnant military beneficiaries, could not determine if the alarmingly high psychological distress levels of respondents were the result of pregnancy or war-time stressors. The purpose of this replication study is to gather peace-time data so that conclusions can be drawn outlining the confounding effect of war-time stressors on pregnant women’s ambivalence, attitudes toward pregnancy, and psychological distress. It may also explain why hypothesized differences based on pregnancy trimester were not found. Pregnancy attitudes and ambivalence will be measured using the Rich Pregnancy Attitude and Ambivalence Scales (R-PAAS). Deragotis’ Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) is a sensitive measure of current psychological status, and will be used to assess psychological distress. An ex post facto, two group design will be employed to make peace- and war-time and soldier versus family member comparisons. Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) will be used for this analysis. A combination of cross-sectional and quota sampling techniques will be used to recruit 675 women to participate with a minimum sample of 100 women per pregnancy trimester. To obtain sufficient data to explore the psychometric properties of the R-PAAS, this sample size exceeds that recommended by power analysis (Cohen & Cohen, 1983). The desired sample size of 450 was further adjusted to allow for 66% mailed survey response rate. A sample of 15 pregnant women will be recruited during the first trimester to participate in a longitudinal pilot project designed to describe changes in women’s ambivalence, pregnancy attitudes, and psychological distress as pregnancy progresses. The study will add to what is known about the war-time psychology of pregnancy. The proposed research is a key step in an ongoing program of research which will be focused on improving care and outcomes for pregnant women and their families.