Journal for Prenatal & Perinatal

Psychology & Health

Over Three Decades of Research

Journal For Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health (JOPPPAH)

JOPPPAH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published continuously since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child. JOPPPAH invites original articles based on clinical work, experimental research, case studies, and self-report. Please review the guidelines for contributing authors by clicking on the link below and submit your articles to  We look forward to hearing from you.

*If you need assistance, please contact our managing editor at

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Submit Your Article

Submission Deadlines are:
January 30, 2023
May 15, 2023
September 5, 2023

Letter from the Editor

Fall 2022

Welcome to JOPPPAH’s final issue of 2022! There is much to celebrate as we prepare to ring in the New Year—some of us knee-deep in snow.
Our JOPPPAH team has grown by four—in just the last month! We welcome an international team of new volunteers, from Book Review Editor, Stephanie Cloutman, RN, Peer Review Coordinator, Anita Horvath, and the newly created position of Outreach Coordinators to both Zephyr and Elena Nechaeva. All four volunteers are already hard at work in helping cultivate rigorous research for the journal. Volunteers are the lifeblood of the journal, and I could not be more thankful to have a team of researchers, clinicians, and scholars rolling up their sleeves to help our cause. Thank you to Barbara Hotelling, who is moving on from the Book Review Editor position after five years of service to the journal. Barbara not only provided book reviews but also interviewed researchers and clinicians, too. Her interviews were heartwarming, informative, and a joy to read. We will miss you, Barbara!

The JOPPPAH team also celebrates 36 years of producing cutting-edge, high-quality research on pre and perinatal psychology and health. More than three decades ago, Thomas Verny created a journal dedicated to the mother-baby unit, exploring gestation, pregnancy, and beyond. The journal’s goals have not changed—though they are always expanding and sharpening. The journal seeks diverse and inclusive perspectives on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum from researchers, clinicians, and scholars working within communities of color, indigenous communities, and LBTQIA+ communities. If you know of a clinician or researcher working within these fields, encourage them to publish with JOPPPAH. As a prior interviewee once said, “There is enough pie for everyone.” At JOPPPAH, we seek to facilitate research representing the full-lived experience of birth—for all birthing people.

We close out this year with research steeped in these questions: how are the gestational parent, fetus, and baby affected by the environment, community, and household, and how do the gestational parents, fetus, and baby respond to said environmental factors? From the United Kingdom, Jessica Haselhurst, Dr. Jo Heyes, and Dr. Stephanie Carty lead with, “Experiences of social isolation for first-time mothers with pre-existing anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic: An interpretative phenomenological approach.” In this case study, Haselhurst et al. utilize reflexive social constructivism to investigate how first-time UK mothers with pre-existing anxiety weathered social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The
researchers found several themes emerged—from mothers’ difficulties bonding with babies, to feeling not understood, to abandonment and fear. Haslehurst et al. contend that first-time mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic may require more mental health services in the coming years, including both peer and professional support. 
Dr. Sofia Zahid, Dr. Joanna Heyes, and Dr. Tina Mistry argue that South Asian mothers may face issues in accessing mental healthcare for postpartum depression (PND) in the United Kingdom due to lack of transparency in accessing mental health services in “The experience of seeking help for postnatal depression in South Asian communities: A reflexive thematic analysis.” The researchers approached this issue by conducting a case study, gathering retrospective accounts of mothers’ experiences in looking for and accessing mental healthcare in the UK. Similar to Haselhurst et al., Zahid et al. suggest culturally aware and intersectional professional and peer support. Trained professionals who are culturally competent regarding the needs of South Asian mothers and gestational parents are not a luxury—they are a necessity for the South Asian birthing community in the UK. 

Dr. Mariana Cerqueira and Dr. Luis Delgado in “An exploratory study: The existence of 5 independent emotions of a fetus” return to a well-beloved topic in APPPAH—how the fetus experiences emotions. From a sample of 93 pregnant people from Loures, Portugal, the researchers employed cardiotocography (CTG)—which provides data on maternal heart rate and fetal movements—to monitor the pregnant people in their study. Dr. Cerqueira and Dr. Delgado indicate their results bolster the theory that there is a differentiation between maternal and fetal reactions to stimuli.


Our last author, Dan Bollinger, argues that children from dysfunctional households have disproportionately higher adverse experiences, including circumcision, in “Adverse childhood experiences, dysfunctional households, and circumcision.” Five hundred men were surveyed by a Qualtrics online sample team in the United States. The results found that circumcised men scored higher in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) in all but one category.


Thank you for your continuing support of APPPAH and our journal. We welcome your comments, questions, and new research articles at We hope that this end-of-the-year issue facilitates new ideas, angles, and approaches for helping understand, assess, and help birthing families. We wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday and a graceful ease into the new year.


See you in 2023!

Kate Stahl-Kovell, PhD, MA

APPPAH's Peer Reviewed Journal Publication Policies

Guidelines for Contributing Authors


The Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health accepts only original material that is not under consideration by any other publications. Articles should be word-processed and transmitted electronically as a Word document to the Editor. The Editor reserves the right to edit manuscripts for length, clarity, and conformity with the journal’s style. The author should retain his/her copy. American spelling should be used. The paper should be between 2,000 and 8,000 words with a 100–word abstract and at least three keywords. (See further guidelines for submitting a manuscript in the current APA Publication Manual (2020), specifically, “Author Responsibilities.”


The journal is interested in publishing theoretical and empirical articles utilizing data gained from clinical work, experimental research, case studies, and self-report. Among the areas of special interest are:


  • Psychological factors that affect conception, pregnancy, labor, birth and the postpartum period;
  • The reciprocal mechanisms of interaction between the pregnant mother and her unborn and sentient child and the mother and her newborn;
  • The influence of the family, society, and the environment on the pregnant mother and her unborn child;
  • Evidence-based measures that will improve the emotional well-being of mothers, fathers, and newborns;
  • The psychological effects of medical technology during conception, pregnancy, labor, and birth on all parties concerned;
  • Methods of prevention and intervention/resolution of prenatal and perinatal traumas with children and adults;
  • Interfaces between prenatal and perinatal psychology and medicine, genetics, developmental psychology, anthropology, ethics, and the law.


Illustrations, Figures and Tables


All illustrations and tables should be included separately from the manuscript (in a separate document) and should be clearly identified in Arabic numerals, showing which is the top of the illustration if this is not obvious. Tables must supplement the text without duplicating it. Refer to APA publication manual for detailed instructions on tables and figures. Illustrations should either be black-and-white glossy photographs or India ink drawings. Tables, figures, and illustrations should include an appropriate title and be in jpg or png file format. Keep in mind the 6x9 finished size of journal pages.


Other Requirements


Please include 50-100 word brief bio (total for all authors), as well as complete contact information for all authors.


APA Style

Formatting and referencing must follow APA style. References should be limited to work cited in the article. All cited material should be on the reference list.


American Psychological Association (2020). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.