The need for supporting the mental health of parents after preterm birth

How relationship satisfaction and emotional dependency positively affects the mental health of parents after preterm birth

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Ilknur Okay, President of our Turkish partner parent organisation El Bebek Gül Bebek and Chair Committee Member of GLANCE, has been pushing the topic of mental health in correlation with the burden of preterm birth forward for many years. Now the trained psychologist has, in collaboration with Çiğdem Yavuz Güler from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakıf University, Istanbul, Turkey, published an intriguing article on the protective effect of relationship satisfaction and dependency on parents’ mental health after having a preterm baby.

The study evaluated the data of 209 participants who had had a baby born before 32 weeks of gestation and examined the impact of the relationship dynamics of these parents with preterm infants on post-preterm birth depression, anxiety, stress, and post-traumatic growth (PTG). One result of the data evaluation was that relationship satisfaction experienced by the parents was associated with lower levels of depression, anxiety, and stress.

These findings point out the importance of establishing family- and baby-centred developmental care in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and that the timely prediction of possible risks of depression, anxiety and stress can support the functionality of entire families.

The article was recently published in the Health Psychology Report.
Find the full text here:  Health Psychology Report.