A multilevel developmental psychopathology model of childbirth and the perinatal transition

Parisa R. Kaliush, Elisabeth Conradt, Patricia K. Kerig, Paula G. Williams, Sheila E. Crowell
2023 Development and Psychopathology  
Despite recent applications of a developmental psychopathology perspective to the perinatal period, these conceptualizations have largely ignored the role that childbirth plays in the perinatal transition. Thus, we present a conceptual model of childbirth as a bridge between prenatal and postnatal health. We argue that biopsychosocial factors during pregnancy influence postnatal health trajectories both directly and indirectly through childbirth experiences, and we focus our review on those
more » ... rect effects. In order to frame our model within a developmental psychopathology lens, we first describe "typical" biopsychosocial aspects of pregnancy and childbirth. Then, we explore ways in which these processes may deviate from the norm to result in adverse or traumatic childbirth experiences. We briefly describe early postnatal health trajectories that may follow from these birth experiences, including those which are adaptive despite traumatic childbirth, and we conclude with implications for research and clinical practice. We intend for our model to illuminate the importance of including childbirth in multilevel perinatal research. This advancement is critical for reducing perinatal health disparities and promoting health and well-being among birthing parents and their children.
doi:10.1017/s0954579422001389 pmid:36700362 pmcid:PMC10368796 fatcat:zs7g7rgylbamxjyqxlhksud5dq