Relation between perceived stress, social support, and coping strategies and maternal well-being: a review of the literature.

a Department of Midwifery , University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland , Geneva , Switzerland.
Women & Health (Impact Factor: 1.05). 01/2013; 53(1):74-99. DOI: 10.1080/03630242.2012.732681
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The objective of this work was to review published articles on the impact of perinatal stress on mothers' medium- or long-term psychological health and the efficacy of coping strategies, to determine if social support plays a role in the interaction between birth events and mothers' psychological experiences, and to identify the tools used for these measurements. MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and CINAHL databases were searched for English and French language articles from 2000 through 2010 inclusive. Thirty-seven articles fulfilled the selection criteria. The results of this review highlight an association between perceived stress and postpartum depressive symptoms. However, because perceived stress has been evaluated in a general manner, it was not possible to identify events having more or less relation to postpartum depressive symptoms in mothers. Social support also appeared to be related to mothers' psychological health. Coping strategies were difficult to analyze because of the lack of homogeneity in their definition across studies. The comparison among studies of social support and coping strategies was also difficult due to the diversity of tools used and their lack of specificity. New tools should be specifically developed for the perinatal period, and further research should be performed to understand better the events and adequacy of social support.

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