What does Feminist-Oriented Perinatal Mental Health Care look like?

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Harder, Alexa
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The female-identified and nonbinary experience of mental health during the perinatal period has largely been ignored in research and care provision until recent years due to the patriarchal nature and history of the medical system in addition to many other intersecting factors. This literary review was designed to examine and explore the lived experience of perinatal individuals accessing mental health care, as well as the gaps in our current care and research related to this reproductive period. To create a more holistic understanding of the lived experience of the perinatal period, the exploration was guided by the question: what does supportive, feminist centric reproductive mental health care could look like? The review follows an inductive approach, in which data is gathered from broad, but related themes to uncover a recommendation. The theoretical approach is feminist-oriented and situated within the North American context. Key areas investigated in the review include factors that influence the perinatal period (sociocultural, psychosocial, biopsychosocial), common experiences of the perinatal period, gaps in perinatal research and care, and potential frameworks and solutions. Considering the key themes and findings uncovered in the literary review, the paper concludes by offering a framework for mental health care professionals to consider using with perinatal clients to bring a more feminist-oriented approach to their work.
mental health , mental health care , perinatal period , reproductive mental health care
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess