Effects of postpartum psychiatric illnesses on family planning

K. S. Peindl*, K. L. Wisner, E. J. Zolnik, B. H. Hanusa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: We investigated the relationship between postpartum psychiatric episodes and subsequent family planning. Our hypothesis was that women who had a postpartum illness would plan to have fewer children. Method: We conducted a mail survey of members of the self-help group Depression After Delivery (DAD). The membership was asked about changes in family planning after a postpartum illness. Two groups were defined: women who took action to prevent further pregnancies after the illness (CHANGE) and women who did not take action to prevent future pregnancies (NO CHANGE). Results: Among respondents 32 percent changed their family plans after suffering a postpartum illness. Fear of recurrence, effects on the family, treatment costs and severity of the episode manifested by suicide or infanticide attempt, hospitalization, and prescribed medication were reasons given for altering plans. Conclusions: The postpartum illness dramatically changed some women's reproductive plans. Prevention strategies for these illnesses need to be addressed when women are making decisions about having other children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

Keywords

  • family planning
  • postpartum depression
  • postpartum psychosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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