Maternal opinion of psychosocial support: evaluation of an antenatal programme


Gunilla Larsson, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Huddinge Hospital M83, S-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden.


The aim of the study was to investigate the significance of psychosocial screening and psychosocial support in antenatal care. Different methods were used. Three hundred and sixty-four pregnant women participated. There was no increase in obstetrical complications, premature births or growth retardation among the infants born to mothers with a high life stress score. A correlation between smoking and reduced birth weight was noted. Most women claimed that they had reduced their alcohol intake already before their first visit to the antenatal clinic. Those women who attended the most extensive psychosocial care had the most favourable attitudes towards the antenatal care. There was a positive correlation between intensive psychosocial support and sickness allowance. The question is raised whether all pregnant women should have the right to be out of work during the last 2 months of pregnancy without reduction of parent's allowance benefit.