Childbirth

Pain in Childbirth, Maternal Care, and Mind Development: A Review

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Publication Date: 
September 2010

In recent decades perinatal clinical psychology and infant research has shown how neurological maturation of the newborn and infant brain is due to learning from maternal care: properties of baby’s mind development are conditioned by maternal care, and the baby’s primary mental development conditions the future child and adult mental development. Research has also shown that maternal care may be modulated by childbirth pain. The experience of pain may increase and enrich maternal care, and its suppression may depress the mother’s ability in maternal care.

References: 

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Boncinelli, E. (1999). C'è dolore e dolore (There is pain and pain). Nascere, 3, 5-6.

Charlton, E.J. (2005). Core Curriculum for Professional Education in Pain. Seattle: IASP Press.

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Imbasciati, A., & Dabrassi, F. (2010). Dolore nel parto, cure materne, sviluppo del futuro individuo: ipotesi per la rilevazione di indici predittivi (Pain in childbirth, maternal care, the future development of the individual: A hypothesis for the detection of predictive indicators). Minerva Psichiatrica, in press.

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Symptoms of Postpartum PTSD and Expressive Writing: A Prospective Study

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Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
October 2009
Research studies on post-partum PTSD have highlighted that the experience of childbirth can be traumatic in itself because it often involves fear, pain, impotence and non-expressed negative emotions. This study hypothesized that mental processing post-partum emotions, through Pennekaber?s expressive writing (EW) method, can reduce short- and long-term posttraumatic symptoms. The sample was of 242 women (mean age=31.5; SD=4) of whom 120 performed the EW-task and 122 were not asked to write.
References: 

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Ayers, S., & Pickering, A. D. (2001). Do women get posttraumatic stress disorder as a result of childbirth? A prospective study of incidence. Birth, 28(2), 111-118.

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Beck, C. T. (2004). Birth trauma: In the eye of the beholder. Nursing Researches, 53, 28-35.

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Creedy, D. K. (1999). Postnatal depression and posttraumatic stress disorder: What are the links? Birth, 8, 125-130.

Greedy, D. K, Shochet, I. M., & Horsfall, J. (2000). Childbirth and the development of acute trauma symptoms: Incidence and contributing factors. Birth, 27(2), 104-111.

Czarnocka, J., & Slade, P. (2000). Prevalence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms following childbirth. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 39, 35-41.

DeMier, R. L., Hynan, M. T, Harris, H. B., & MannieUo, R. L. (1996). Perinatal Stressors as predictors of symptoms of posttraumatic stress in mother and infants at high-risk. Journal of Perinatology, 16, 276-280.

Di Blasio, P. & Ionio, C. (2002). Childbirth and narratives: How do mothers deal with their childbirth? Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 17(2), 143-151.

Di Blasio, P. & Ionio, C. (2005). Postpartum stress symptoms and child temperament: A follow-up study. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, 19(3), 185-198.

Fones, C. (1996). Posttraumatic stress disorder occurring after painful childbirth. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 184, 195-196.

Harlbreich, U. (2005). The association between pregnancy processes, prêterai delivery, low birth weight and post partum depression. The need for interdisciplinary integration. American Journal of Obstetric and Gynecologic, 193, 1312-1322.

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Hynan, M. T. (1998). The perinatal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) questionnaire (PPQ). In R. Wood & C. P. Zalaquette (Eds.), Evaluating stress: A handbook of resources (vol. 2). London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.

Lepore, S. (1997). Expressive writing moderates the relation between intrusive thoughts and depressive symptoms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1030-1037.

Matthey, S., Barnett, B., Howie, P., & Kavanagh, D. J. (2003). Diagnosing postpartum depression in mothers and fathers: Whatever happened to anxiety? Journal of Affective Disorders, 74, 139-147.

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Soet, J. E., Brack, G. A., & Dilorio, C. (2003). Prevalence and predictors of women's experience of psychological trauma during childbirth. Birth, 30, 36-46.

van Son, M., Verkerk, G., van der Hart, O., Komproe, L, & Pop, V. (2005). Prenatal depression, mode of delivery and perinatal dissociation as predictors of postpartum posttraumatie stress: An empirical study. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 72,297-312.

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Wenzel, A., Haugen, E. N., Jackson, L. C., & Brendle, J. R. (2005). Anxiety symptoms and disorders at eight weeks postpartum. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 19, 295-311.

White, T., Matthey, S., Boyd, K, & Barnett, B. (2006). Postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress after childbirth: Prevalence, course and co-occurrence. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 24(2), 107 - 120.

Wijma, K., Wijma, B., & Soderquist, M. A. (1997). Psychometric aspects of the W-DEQ; a new questionnaire for the measurement of fear of childbirth. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetric and Gynecologic, 77(6), 587-597.

Wijma, K., Wijma, B., & Zar, M. (1998). Psychometric aspects of the W-DEQ; a new questionnaire for the measurement of fear of childbirth. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetric and Gynecologic, 19, 84-97.

Pregnancy, Childbirth and Postpartum Experiences of Israeli Women in the Negev

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Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
October 2009
This study of 302 Israeli women was a secondary analysis conducted to: (1) examine the associations between negative pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum experiences; (2) determine whether exposure to childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and fertility problems are related to reproductive experiences and (3) identify among these variables potential predictors of negative childbirth experiences and postpartum depression (PPD). Pregnancy-related fears increased and prior fertility problems decreased the likelihood of negative childbirth experiences.
References: 

Alami, K. M., Kadri, N, &. Serrada, S. (2006). Prevalence and psyehosocial correlates of depressed mood during pregnancy and after childbirth in a Moroccan sample. Archives of Women's Health, 9(6), 343-346.

Alder, J., Pink, N, Bitzer, J., Hösli, L, & Holzgreve, W. (2007). Depression and anxiety during pregnancy: A risk factor for obstetric, fetal and neonatal outcome? A critical review of the literature. Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 20(3), 189-209.

Alehagen, S., Wijma, B., & Wijma, K. (2006). Pear of childbirth before, during, and after childbirth. Acto Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 85(1), 56-62.

Amir, L. H., & Cwikel, J. (2005). Why do women stop breastfeeding? A closer look at 'not enough milk' among Israeli women in the Negev Region. Breastfeeding Review, 3(3), 7-13.

Ballard, C. G., Stanley, A. K., & Brockington, I. P. (1995). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after childbirth. British Journal of Psychiatry, 766(4), 525-528.

Beck, C. T. (1998). A checklist to identify women at risk for developing postpartum depression. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 27(1), 39-46.

Beck, C. T. (2001). Predictors of postpartum depression: An update. Nursing Research, 50(5), 275-285.

Bell, S., & Lee, C. (2003). Perceived stress revisited: The Women's Health Australia Project Young Cohort. Psychology, Health and Medicine, 8(3), 343-353.

Benedict, M. L, Paine, L. L., Paine, L. A., Brandt, D., & Stallings, R. (1999). The association of childhood sexual abuse with depressive symptoms during pregnancy, and selected pregnancy outcomes. Child Abuse & Neglect, 23(7), 659- 670.

Bergant, A. M., Moser, R., Heim, K, & Ulmer, H. (1998). Burden of childbirth. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 7(2), 77-81.

Bleich, A., Gelkopf, M., & Solomon, Z. (2003). Exposure to terrorism, stress -related mental health symptoms, and coping behaviors among a nationally representative sample in Israel. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 290(5), 612-620.

Bloch, M., Rotenberg, D., Koren, E., & KIien, E. (2006). Risk factors associated with the development of postpartum mood disorders. Journal of Affective Disorders, SS(I), 9 -18.

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Boyce, P. M., & Todd, A. L. (1992). Increased risk of postnatal depression after emergency cesarean section. Medical Journal of Australia, 757(3), 172-174.

Buist, A. (1998). Childhood abuse, parenting and postpartum depression. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 32(4), 479 -487.

Clark, D. O., Kroenke, K., Callahan, C. M., & McDonald, C. J. (1999). Validity and utility of patient-reported health measures on hospital admission. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 52(1), 65-71.

Cohain, J. S., & Yoselis, A. (2004). Caesareans and low-risk women in Israel. Practicing Midwife, 7(7), 28-31.

Cokkinides, V. E., Coker, A. L., Sanderson, M., Addy, C., & Bethea, L. (1999). Physical violence during pregnancy: Maternal complications and birth outcomes. Obstetrics & Gynecology, 93(5), 661-666.

Cox, J. L., Chapman, G., Murray, D., & Jones, P. (1996). Validation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) in non-postnatal women. Journal of Affective Disorders, 39(3), 185-189.

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Greedy, D. K, Shochet, I. M., & Horsfall, J. (2000). Childbirth and the development of acute trauma symptoms: Incidence and contributing factors. Birth, 27(2), 104 - 111.

Cwikel, J., & Barak, N. (2002). The health and welfare of Bedouin Arab women in the Negev. Beer-Sheva: The Center of Women's Heath Studies and Promotion, BenGurion University of the Negev.

Cwikel, J., & Barak, N. (2003). The health and welfare of Israeli women in the Negev. Beer-Sheva, Israel: The Center of Women's Heath Studies and Promotion, BenGurion University of the Negev.

Cwikel, J., Lev- Weisel, R., & Al-Krenawi, A. (2003). The physical and psychosocial health of Bedouin Arab women in the Negev area of Israel. Violence Against Women, 9(2), 240-257.

Cwikel, J., & Mendlinger, S. (2003). Origins and influences of women's health behaviors: Examining intergenerational and multi-cultural effects. Final report to the Israeli Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport. Beer-Sheva, Israel: The Center of Women's Heath Studies and Promotion, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Cwikel, J., & Segal-Engelchin, D. (2005). Implications of ethnic group origin for Israeli women's mental health. Journal of Immigrant Health, 7(3), 133-143.

Dankner, R., Goldberg, R. P., Fisch, R Z., & Crum, R. M. (2000). Cultural elements of postpartum depression: A study of 327 Jewish Jerusalem women. Journal of Reproductive Medicine, 45(2), 97-104.

Dole, N., Savitz, D. A., Hertz-Picciotto, L, Siega-Riz, A. M., McMahon, M. J., & Buekens, P. (2003). Maternal stress and prêterai birth. American Journal of Epidemiology, 757(1), 14-24.

Durik, A. M., Hyde, J. S., & Clark, R (2000). Sequel of cesarean and vaginal deliveries: psychosocial outcomes for mothers and infants. Developmental Psychology, 36(2), 25 1-260.

Eilat-Ts anani, S., A. Merom, Romano, S., Reshef, ?., Lavi, L, & Tabenkin, H. (2006). The effect of postpartum depression on women's consultations with physicians. The Israel Medicine Association Journal, 8(6), 406-10.

Fenwick, J., Hauck, Y., Downie, J., & Butt, J. (2005). The childbirth expectations of a selfselected cohort of Western Australian women. Midwifery, 27(1), 23-35.

Fisch, U.Z., Tadmor, O.P., Dankner, R., & Diamant, YZ. (1997). Postnatal depression: A prospective study of its prevalence, incidence and psychosocial determinants in an Israeli sample. Journal of Obsterics and Gynaecology Research, 23(6), 547-554.

Fisher, C., Hauck, Y., & Fenwick, J. (2006). How social context impacts on women's fear of childbirth: A western Australian example. Social Science & Medicine, 63(1), 64-75.

Florica, M., Stephansson, O., & Nordström, L. (2006). Indications associated with increased cesarean section rates in a Swedish hospital. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 92(2), 181-185.

Gazmararian J. A., Petersen, R, Spitz, A. M., Goodwin, M. M., Saltzman, L. E., & Marks, J.S. (2000). Violence and reproductive health: Current knowledge and future research directions. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 4(2), 79-84.

Glasser, S., & Barell, V. (1999). Depression scale for research in and identification of postpartum depression. Harefua, 736(10), 764-8. (Hebrew)

Glasser, S., Barell, V., Shoham, A., Ziv. A., Boyko, V., Lusky, A., & Hart, S. (1998). Prospective study of postpartum depression in an Israeli cohort: Prevalence, incidence and demographic risk factors. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology ,79(3),155-164.

Gross, R., & Brammli-Greenberg, S. (2000). The health and welfare of women in Israel: Findings from a national survey. Jerusalem, Israel: JDC-Brookdale Institute.

Gupton, A., Heaman, M., & Wang-Kit Cheung, L. (2001). Complicated and uncomplicated pregnancies: Women's perception of risk. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, 30(2), 192-201.

Halbreich, U., & Karkun, S. (2006). Cross-cultural and social diversity of prevalence of postpartum depression and depressive symptoms. Journal of Affective Disorders, 91(2), 97-111.

Hauck, Y., Fenwick, J., Downie, J., & Butt, J. (2007). The influence of childbirth expectations on Western Australian women's perceptions of their birth experience. Midwifery, 23(3), 235-247.

Heaman, M., Gupton, A., & Gregory, D. (2004). Factors influencing pregnant women's perceptions of risk. The American Journal of Maternal /Child Nursing, 29(20), 111-116.

Hedegaard, M., Henriksen, T. B., Secher, N. J., Hatch, M. C., & Sabroe, S. (1996). Do stressful Ufe events affect duration of gestation and risk of prêterai delivery? Epidemiology, 7(4), 339-345.

Heimstad, R., Dahloe, R., Laache, L, Skogvoll, E., & Schei, B. (2006). Fear of childbirth and history of abuse: implications for pregnancy and delivery. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, 85(4), 435-440.

Heron, J., O'Connor, T., Evans, J., Golding, J., Glover, V. and the ALSPAC Study Team. (2004). The course of anxiety and depression through pregnancy and the postpartum in a community sample. Journal of Affective Disorders, SO(I), 65-73.

Hofberg, K, & Ward, M. R. (2003). Fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 79(935), 505-510.

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Jasinski, J. L. (2004). Pregnancy and domestic violence: A review of the literature. Trauma,Violence, & Abuse, 5(1), 47-64.

Jossefsson, A., Anglesioo, L, Berg, G., Ekstrom, C.M., Gunnervikl, C., Nordin, C., & Sydsjo, G. (2002). Obstetric, somatic and demographic risk factors for postpartum. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 99(2), 223-228.

Koo, V., Lynch, J., & Cooper, S. (2003). Risk of postnatal depression after emergency delivery. Journal of Obstetrical and Gynecological Research, 29(4), 246-250.

Krueger, A. B., & Stone, A. A. (2008). Assessment of pain: a community-based diary survey in the USA. Lancet, 377(9623), 1519-1525.

Kuh, D., & Hardy, R. (2002). A life course approach to women's health: Does the past predict the present? In D. Kuh & R, Hardy (Eds.), A life course approach to women's health. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leeners, B., Richter-Appelt, H., Imthurn, B., & Rath, W. (2006). Influence of childhood sexual abuse on pregnancy, delivery, and the early postpartum period in adult women. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 61(2), 139-151.

Lyons, S. (1998). A prospective study of post traumatic stress symptoms one month following birth in a group of 42 first-time mothers. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 16(2), 91-105.

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Matthey, S., Henshaw, C., Elliot, S., & Baraett, B. (2006). Variability in use of cut-off scores and formats on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale- implication for clinical and research practice. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 9(6), 300- 315.

Maughan, B. (2002). Depression and psychological distress: A life course perspective. In D. Kuh & R Hardy (Eds.), A life course approach to women's health (pp. 161- 171). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Melender, H-L. (2002). Experiences of fears associated with pregnancy and childbirth: A study of 329 pregnant women. Birth, 29(2), 101-111.

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Childbirth and Narratives: How Do Mothers Deal with Their Child's Birth?

$10.00
Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
December 2002

This research focuses on post traumatic stress disorders which arise after childbirth and adds to the literature on psychological post partum diseases. The hypothesis of this study was that psychological expression of negative emotions could reduce the occurrence of stress symptoms after labour and delivery. A group of 64 women with a healthy pregnancy was examined. Half of them were asked to express their emotion experienced during labour and delivery through a written account.

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The authors thank Dott. Eugenic Vignati, Health Master of Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento in Milan, for his approval and support of this study, and the medical and nursing staff of Clinica Mangiagalli, in particular, Dott.ssa Cristina Maggioni, gynaecologist, for their help and collaboration. Correspondence to: Paola Di Blasio, C.R.T.I., Dipartimento di Psicologia, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Largo Gemelli, 1, 20123 Milano, Italy. Email: pdiblasi@mi.unicatt.it