Researchers from Shahroud University of Medical Sciences in Iran recently published a study on the psychological changes that occur between pregnancy and early motherhood. The study was published in the journal Asia-Pacific Psychiatry.

A total of 358 women were seen in healthcare centers in urban Iran in 2011. Psychological state was measured during pregnancy and eight weeks postpartum. A general health questionnaire, sociodemographic questionnaire and a questionnaire on psychosocial stressors were completed by all women in the 3rd trimester and at postpartum visits.

Significant changes in questionnaire scores were noted between late pregnancy and postpartum. Women tended to suffer more anxiety in the latter stages of pregnancy than they did just eight weeks after giving birth. Researchers associate increased anxiety during pregnancy to financial problems, family issues and personal battles with maternal and fetal health. After birth, stresses diminished and thus improvements in psychological scores were noted.

Source: Mortazavi F, Chaman R, Mousavi SA, Khosravi A, Ajami ME. Maternal psychological state during the transition to motherhood: A longitudinal study. Asia Pac Psychiatry. 2013 Jun;5(2): E49-57. doi: 10.1111/appy.12075.