The international study was published in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps and suggest that women who are anywhere between 22 weeks of pregnancy and seven days after a birth who are also the partners of military members may have higher risks of mental health issues and depression when compared to other mothers.
Related: Link Between Postpartum Depression And ADHD Means Mothers Need More Support
Researchers from the U.K.-based Anglia Ruskin University's Veterans and Families Institute for Military Social Research (VFI) reported all pregnant military partners who claimed more depressive symptoms regardless the state of their pregnancy and during all stages of their military member partner's deployment cycle, seemed to have peaks right before childbirth and the days after. The research was mostly done on United States military service member spouses/partners, but the research team believes the findings are cross-cultural.
The researchers believe that the anxiety of childbirth and new parenthood without one's partner, as well as the social isolation that brings is an underlying reason.
Dr. Lauren Godier-McBard is the lead author of the study and said that women who have partners serving in the military have to not only deal with all that comes with pregnancy and motherhood, but with concerns about the health and welfare of their partner. They do this without their partner all-too-often and this can place a greater load on their mental processing.
Related: Postpartum Pain May Be Linked To Increased Postpartum Depression
For military spouses, Dr. Godier-McBard says that social support is the key to helping those mothers and that evidence supports that social constructs around military spouses/partners are imperative for reducing anxiety--particularly in the postpartum period.
It does take a village--particularly for military families. Be the village if you can--it makes a difference!
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