Reproductive health is dependent on a sanogenic physical and mental state, as well as an optimal social condition in all aspects of the reproductive system, its functions and processes.
Women’s ability to protect their reproductive rights and sexual health, as well as the right to make decisions when and if to have children are crucial to the freedom to shape their own couple and social life and to enjoy their sexual life.
The reproductive freedom implies not only the right to interrupt pregnancy, but also a safe and qualified fertility control, sexual education provided by a psychotherapist in psychotherapy sessions, and the right for everyone to have the sex life that they have chosen. In the traditional society, maternity is identified with femininity in social perceptions. In modern society, the birth of children is a conscious and deliberate act of the woman.
Thus, more and more couples, when deciding to bring a child into the world, make an appointment to a psychology cabinet to ask for information especially on the procreative and pro-parental education. In their disharmonic evolution, dysfunctional couples often have a lack of procreative education, with important consequences for the physical and mental health of individuals, as well as for the demographic behavior and natality in general.
Psychosocial factors at the couple’s level
Dysfunctional problems in couple’s life, as well as family violence are often the origin of depression and anxiety in the couple relationship. They are also risk factors for:
lack of intimacy in the couple relationship
unwanted, unplanned pregnancy
hostility of the family (including the husband) regarding a pregnancy.
Psychosocial factors in the extended family and the community:
difficult living conditions (overcrowded or overpopulated housing)
differences between urban and rural areas (70% of women with postnatal depression are from urban areas, compared to only 30% from rural areas).
Psychological factors and personality profile of the young mother
Intrapsychic factors have an important role in the genesis of postnatal depression. And in this case, they are linked to the affective maturity of the patient, and in particular to the restructuring of the personality when she becomes a mother. It is as important as the transition to adolescence from the stage of the girl to the woman. If the pregnancy is not desired, the woman being unprepared, the birth and the requirements of the newborn for feeding can only induce the feeling of self-deprecation and incompetence, underlying the symptomatology.
Factors regarding the health of the mother and the child
There are other elements that can play a negative role in the mental state of the young mother:
multiple pregnancy, fetal malformation or drug addiction
extreme ages (too young or too old) of the pregnant woman
a difficult pregnancy or labor, ending with a caesarean delivery.
Medical factors and doctor-patient relationship
The context of birth is very important: prolonged labor, difficult expulsion, the use of suction cups, forceps, general anesthesia, caesarean are all circumstances that favor postnatal depression. The same happens in case of premature birth, death at birth, or even underweight of the child.
The level of postnatal psychosocial integration
The level of postnatal psychosocial integration is a result of the interaction of the psychosocial factors that act at the level of the young family after childbirth.
The couple’s psychology places the experiences of the pregnant woman in the context of the social, economic and political factor that determine their lives, thus going beyond the unilateral, individualistic, self-care and self-help approaches. Ensuring and preserving the physical and mental health of a pregnant woman and of the future child can become a problem of the moral conscience of society.
The correct and preventive diagnosis of serious psychiatric disorders (personality disorders, schizophrenia, alcohol and drug dependence) and the appropriate treatment are imperative to prevent abandonment or newborn vicious care, sometimes leading to death.
Conflict of interests: The authors declare no conflict of interests.