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Addressing Pregnancy And Parenting In Mental Health Care: Perspectives Of Women With Serious Mental Illness.

Fenwick K, Dossett EC, Gitlin R, Cordasco K, Hamilton AB, Goodsmith N. Addressing Pregnancy And Parenting In Mental Health Care: Perspectives Of Women With Serious Mental Illness. Health affairs (Project Hope). 2024 Apr 1; 43(4):582-589.

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Women living with serious mental illness (SMI) are at increased risk for adverse pregnancy and parenting outcomes. However, little is known about the experiences and preferences of women with SMI related to addressing pregnancy and parenting with their mental health providers. We conducted semistructured interviews with twenty-two reproductive-age cisgender women patients living with SMI. Participants characterized discussions about pregnancy and medication teratogenicity with their mental health providers as limited or unsatisfactory. Participants' openness to discussing pregnancy varied by topic and its perceived relevance to their individual circumstances, and it hinged on participants' trust in their providers. Participants characterized discussions about parenting with their mental health providers as helpful and identified additional opportunities for parenting support. Our findings highlight critical gaps in the delivery of information, support, and resources that can inform efforts to increase providers' capacity to address pregnancy and parenting with women living with SMI.

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