References

Bansil P, Kuklina EV, Meikle SF Maternal and fetal outcomes among women with depression. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2010; 19:(2)329-34 https://doi.org/10.1089/jwh.2009.1387

Bauer A, Pawlby S, Plant DT, King D, Pariante CM, Knapp M Perinatal depression and child development: exploring the economic consequences from a South London cohort. Psychol Med. 2014; https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291714001044

Buist AE, Barnett BE, Milgrom J To screen or not to screen--that is the question in perinatal depression. Med J Aust. 2002; 177:S101-5

Caramlau I, Barlow J, Sembi S, McKenzie-McHarg K, McCabe C Mums 4 Mums: structured telephone peer-support for women experiencing postnatal depression. Pilot and exploratory RCT of its clinical and cost effectiveness. Trials. 2011; 12 https://doi.org/10.1186/1745-6215-12-88

Saving Mothers’ Lives: Reviewing maternal deaths to make motherhood safer: 2006-2008. The Eighth Report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. BJOG. 2011; 118:1-203 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02847.x

Dearman S, Gutteridge K, Waheed W Maternal Mental Health: Working in Partnership.Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell; 2007

Glover V Maternal depression, anxiety and stress during pregnancy and child outcome; what needs to be done. Best Pract Res Clin Obstet Gynaecol. 2014; 28:(1)25-35 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2013.08.017

Graignic-Philippe R, Dayan J, Chokron S, Jacquet AY, Tordjman S Effects of prenatal stress on fetal and child development: a critical literature review. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2014; 43:137-62 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2014.03.022

Grote NK, Bridge JA, Gavin AR, Melville JL, Iyengar S, Katon WJ A meta-analysis of depression during pregnancy and the risk of preterm birth, low birth weight, and intrauterine growth restriction. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010; 67:(10)1012-24 https://doi.org/10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2010.111

Heneghan AM, Silver EJ, Bauman LJ, Stein RE Do pediatricians recognize mothers with depressive symptoms?. Pediatrics. 2000; 106:(6)1367-73

Jones CJ, Creedy DK, Gamble JA Australian midwives’ knowledge of antenatal and postpartum depression: a national survey. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2011; 56:(4)353-61 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1542-2011.2011.00039.x

Jones CJ, Creedy DK, Gamble JA Australian midwives’ attitudes towards care for women with emotional distress. Midwifery. 2012; 28:(2)216-21 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2010.12.008

Jones I, Smith S Puerperal psychosis: identifying and caring for women at risk. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment. 2009; 15:(6)411-8 https://doi.org/10.1192/apt.bp.107.004333

Kim DR, Sockol LE, Sammel MD, Kelly C, Moseley M, Epperson CN Elevated risk of adverse obstetric outcomes in pregnant women with depression. Archives of Women's Mental Health. 2013; 16:(6)475-82

McCauley K, Elsom S, Muir-Cochrane E, Lyneham J Midwives and assessment of perinatal mental health. J Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs. 2011; 18:(9)786-95 https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01727.x

Milgrom J, Mendelsohn J, Gemmill AW Does postnatal depression screening work? Throwing out the bathwater, keeping the baby. J Affect Disord. 2011; 132:(3)301-10 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2010.09.031

National Institute of Health and Care Excellence. 2007. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg45 (accessed 26 November 2014)

Oates M Postnatal mental illness: organisation and function of services.London: Gaskell Royal College of Psychiatrists; 1994

Oates M Perinatal psychiatric disorders: a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. Br Med Bull. 2003; 67:(1)219-29 https://doi.org/10.1093/bmb/ldg011

Polit DF, Beck CT Essentials of Nursing Research: Appraising Evidence for Nursing Practice, 7th edn. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins; 2010

Protopopescu X, Austin M-P, Reilly N, Barnett B Screening and psychosocial assessment for perinatal depression, distress, and dysfunction.Cumbria: M&K Publishing, Keswick; 2012

Robertson E, Jones I, Haque S, Holder R, Craddock N Risk of puerperal and non-puerperal recurrence of illness following bipolar affective puerperal (post-partum) psychosis. Br J Psychiatry. 2005; 186:258-9

Ross-Davie M, Elliot S, Sarkar A, Green L A public health role in perinatal mental health: Are midwives ready?. Br J Midwifery. 2006; 14:(6)330-4

Tully L, Garcia J, Davidson L, Marchant S Role of midwives in depression screening. Br J Midwifery. 2002; 10:(6)374-8

Watson JP, Elliott SA, Rugg AJ, Brough DI Psychiatric disorder in pregnancy and the first postnatal year. Br J Psychiatry. 1984; 144:453-62

Student midwives’ knowledge of perinatal mental health

02 January 2015
16 min read
Volume 23 · Issue 1

Abstract

Background:

Psychiatric illness is a leading indirect cause of maternal mortality. Earlier studies suggest serious discrepancies in the training and knowledge of midwives with regard to perinatal mental health.

Aims:

To explore the knowledge and experience of student midwives in the care of women with perinatal mental health problems.

Methods:

A modified questionnaire was distributed to student midwives near completion of 3-year and 78-week midwifery programmes.

Results:

Students often under-estimated the risk of women with existing mental health problems developing a serious mental health problem during pregnancy or in the postpartum period. Students felt ill-prepared and lacked confidence in caring for women with serious mental health problems.

Conclusion:

Recommendations from the findings of this study indicate (1) a review of undergraduate midwifery education in relation to perinatal mental health is needed; (2) a larger study, involving a more diverse sample of students, would enable generalisation to a wider population.

Psychiatric illness is a leading indirect cause of maternal mortality and morbidity in the UK. A confidential report on the causes of maternal death suggests that a significant number of women die during pregnancy and in the postpartum period as a result of suicide (Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries (CMACE), 2011). Despite recommendations to improve the care women receive, including prediction, detection and referral of mental health problems (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2007), there have been no significant reductions in maternal suicide of women within 6 months of giving birth since 1997 (CMACE, 2011).

Perinatal mental illness is also associated with maternal and infant morbidity. For example, the infants of women who experience anxiety and depression during pregnancy have increased risk of intrauterine growth retardation (Kim et al, 2013) and pre-term delivery (Grote et al, 2010). Women who experience anxiety and depression are also more susceptible to developing hypertension and pre-eclampsia (Bansil et al, 2010) and have more operative deliveries than other women (Bansil et al, 2010). The behaviour and development of the child may also be affected by maternal anxiety and depression during pregnancy and in the postpartum period (Bauer et al, 2014; Glover, 2014; Graignic-Phillipe et al, 2014). For example, infants of mothers who experienced depression, stress and anxiety during pregnancy have been found to be at increased risk of developing attention deficit disorders, emotional problems and impaired cognitive development (Glover, 2014).

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month