Dimensional Assessment of the Mother Baby Organization Project: The Many Facets of Psychological Difficulties among Expectant Women


Toshinori Kitamura, MD, PhD., F.R.C. Psych. – T. &F. Kitamura Foundation for Studies and Skill Advancements of Mental Health, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

Series: Pregnancy and Infants: Medical, Psychological and Social Issues
BISAC: PSY000000; HEA041000
DOI: https://doi.org/10.52305/BRVW8744

In the past, pregnancy was viewed, although with some somatic complaints, as a period of peaceful and joyful mind. Reality, however, is not so. Pregnant women may suffer from a variety of psychological difficulties. The Dimensional Assessment of Mother Baby Organisation Project carried out a net survey of more than 500 expectant women, (together with net interviews) to perform symptomatological and nosological studies. After describing details of antenatal depression, suicidality, maternal-foetal bonding disorder, tokophobia (fear of childbirth), nausea and vomiting (emesis) and psychosocial dysfunction, the authors performed a cluster analysis of these symptoms,. and proposed that there is a group of pregnant women who have severalmany of different types of psychological conditions. They called it antenatal psychological syndrome (APS). In addition, we identified lack of interest as the core symptom of antenatal depression. Within APS, however, there may be a possible flow of causality: from tokophobia through maternal-foetal bonding and antenatal depression (together with emesis) to suicidality and psychosocial disability. The effects of unintended pregnancy on maternal-foetal bonding are mediated by unhappiness when realising own pregnancy. Perinatal health professionals should be aware of such a group of pregnant women with a spectrum of psychological difficulties and therefore need professional intervention. This study was funded by the T. and F. Kitamura Foundation for Studies and Skill Advancement in Mental Health.

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Editor’s ORCID iD

Toshinori Kitamura: 0000-0002-2326-3140

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