The perinatal period and pregnancy: The effect that attachment theory has

Marlin Dei

n this study, we intend to examine and integrate recent scholarship on attachment theory and its application to the obstetrics-specific perinatal period. Obstetricians, psychiatrists, and psychologists frequently encounter antenatal and postnatal concerns, psychological issues, and psychiatric symptomatology arising from closer observation of the women’s difficulties or reported by the women themselves in medical settings in general and the clinical domain of the perinatal period in obstetrics in particular. It is of the utmost importance to our theoretical understanding to thoroughly examine the perspective proposed by attachment theory, as it was first developed by child psychiatristpsychoanalyst John Bowlby , and the newest theoretical developments on the field that followed, in order to better comprehend these psychosocial concerns and deliver timely and more effective personalized interventions to women in need. The effects of different subtypes of attachment style on benefits as well as the challenges and risks they pose to women at each stage of pregnancy are examined. According to the reviewed literature, “insecurity” in significant relationships and attachment appears to make women more susceptible to psychopathology. The primary psychopathological disorders and symptomatology discussed in the literature appear to be perinatal depression, postpartum depression, perinatal anxiety, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms related to pregnancy and labor. These disorders and symptomatology are related to the perinatal period and their connection to attachment. In addition, securely attached women appear to be able to remain calmer and make better use of their emotional and social resources during the challenging perinatal phase thanks to the “security” attachment that is tangibly observed in couples with strong intra marital support. As a result, expecting mothers are more likely to use patterns of behavior that are good for them to overcome perinatal challenges.