Impact of symptomatology of selected psychological disorder on maternal functioning six months after childbirth
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Department of Midwifery, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin, Comenius University in Bratislava, Martin, Slovakia
Publication date: 2023-10-24
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Ľubica Bánovčinová   

Department of Midwifery, Jessenius Faculty of Medicine in Martin, Comenius University in Bratislava, Martin, Slovakia
Eur J Midwifery 2023;7(Supplement 1):A138
The functional status of mothers after childbirth includes several areas such as self-care, infant care, mother–child interaction, mother psychological well-being, social support, management, and adjustment. An appropriate assessment of maternal functioning has the potential to provide valuable information about the mother's level of competence in the maternal role. Mental health disturbances, such as perceived stress and depressive symptoms can negatively affect the adequate fulfillment of the role of mother. The main objective of this study was to examine the impact of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, postnatal depression, and perceived stress on maternal functioning.

Material and Methods:
A total of 293 women (men age 31.32±4.85; range 18-45) who were 6-7 months postpartum completed an online questionnaire consisting of Edinburgh postnatal depression scale, City birth trauma scale, Perceived stress scale, Barkin index of maternal functioning, socio-demographic and obstetric questions.

Maternal functioning was significantly and negatively correlated with symptoms of birth trauma (p=0.000), postnatal depression (p=0.000), perceived stress (p=0.000), maternal age (p=0.025), health complications of the mother in the postpartum period (p=0.002) and health complications of the child after birth (p=0.015). When multiple regression was run, only higher levels of perceived stress significantly predicted lower maternal functioning F(1; 148)=65.807, p≤0.001, R2=0.308.

Information about how psychological problems such as postpartum depression symptoms, birth trauma symptoms, and perceived stress interact with maternal functioning may influence treatment approaches for postpartum women with impaired mental health. At the same time, better functioning could be an immediate and long-term advantage, as it contributes to the optimal fulfillment of the maternal role.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
This research was supported by project VEGA no. 1/0333/21 Risk factors associated with posttraumatic stress disorder after birth.
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