Suicidal ideation in the perinatal period: A systematic review

Avril O'Connor, Sadie Geraghty, Gemma Doleman, Annemarie De Leo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Objective: To examine literature surrounding suicidal ideation and suicidality in the perinatal period.

Design: Systematic Literature Review of published 15 research studies.

There is a scarcity of prospective studies conducted in suicidal ideation during the perinatal period. More research is needed to ensure childbearing women at risk of suicidal ideation during pregnancy receive the appropriate care and maternity services required to support them throughout this period.

Key conclusions: Midwives play an important role in screening women for possible emotional distress and mood disorders during pregnancy. Therefore, midwives need to have knowledge of risk factors so vulnerable women are monitored and supportive maternity services can be implemented if indicated.

Implications for practice:
Suicidal ideation can have serious consequences for the women and the product if left untreated. Screening for suicidal ideation, antenatal and postnatal depression is imperative. Women with a pre-existing mental health disorders are a particularly vulnerable population group and should be monitored closely for suicidal ideation. Women who experience intimate partner violence or are from low socioeconomic backgrounds also present a risk of suicidal ideation, all of which require complex mental-health care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-75
Number of pages9
JournalMental Health And Prevention
Early online date11 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


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