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J Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol. 1994 Sep;15(3):141-6.

Postpartum mental health.

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Department of Psychiatry, Kuopio University Hospital, Finland.


The mental health of parturients 1-2 months after delivery was assessed. The study was carried out using a questionnaire between September and November 1992 in connection with the postpartum visits of mothers to the maternity health care center. The need for psychological help was assessed using a 12-item questionnaire (General Health Questionnaire), according to which 28% of the subjects needed psychological help. These mothers did not differ from the others in terms of age, marital status, education, or financial situation. Nor was the need for psychological help associated with health habits, with traumatic life events or conflicts during childhood and adolescence, or with delivery-related factors. Mothers needing psychological help were more depressed and considered the social support they were receiving to be inadequate more often than the others. These women also more often reported marital problems during pregnancy and after delivery. None of the mothers had sought help because of mental health problems. It is concluded that antenatal and postnatal clinics should pay more attention to the mental health of mothers.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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