Addressing Perinatal Mental Health Risk within a Fetal Care Center.
Diagnosis of a fetal anomaly in pregnancy increases the risk for perinatal mental health difficulties, including anxiety, depression, and traumatic stress among expectant parents. Common emotional challenges include uncertainty about the diagnosis/prognosis, anticipated neonatal course, fears of fetal or neonatal demise, loss of a typical, uncomplicated pregnancy and postpartum course, and disruption of family roles due to medical care-related activities and restrictions. Psychologists in multidisciplinary fetal care centers are uniquely positioned to assess mental health risks and address the needs of expectant parents. Psychologists bring additional expertise in screening and assessment, clinical interventions to promote coping and symptom reduction while preparing for birth and a complicated neonatal course, consultation and effective communication, and programmatic development. This review paper provides an overview of the challenges and behavioral health risks for expectant parents carrying a fetus with a birth defect and the unique role psychologists play to support patients and families within fetal care settings.
Journal of clinical psychology in medical settings
Expectant parents; Fetal anomaly; Fetal center; Perinatal mental health; Pregnancy complication
Dempsey AG, Chavis L, Willis T, Zuk J, Cole JCM. Addressing Perinatal Mental Health Risk within a Fetal Care Center. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2021;28(1):125-136. doi:10.1007/s10880-020-09728-2