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Vol 80, No 5 (2009)
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Personality profiles of pregnant and postpartum women with symptoms of perinatal depression: the differences of self image in the sphere of psychological needs

Olimpia Sipak-Szmigiel, Elżbieta Ronin-Walknowska, Mikołaj Majkowicz, Magdalena Z. Podolska
Ginekol Pol 2009;80(5).

Abstract

Abstract Objectives: The aim of the following study was to assess personality profiles of pregnant and postpartum women with symptoms of perinatal depression and to estimate the differences in their real and ideal self image in the sphere of psychological needs. Material and methods: 50 pregnant (between 32-40 weeks of gestation) and 26 postpartum women (2-5 days after the delivery) were recruited for the study. Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used as a screening test for symptoms of pre- and postnatal depression. Personality profiles were evaluated by means of the Adjective Check List (ACL) with 15 need scales. Results: Postpartum women in comparison to pregnant patients described their self image at a statistically significant higher level as far as the needs for domination, nurturance, affiliation, heterosexuality and exhibition were concerned. No significant differences were observed in these groups of patients in the domain of ideal self image. Conclusions: 1/ pregnant and postpartum women, suffering from perinatal depressive disturbances, differ in terms of the self-assessment of some of their real psychological needs, but do not differ in terms of the ideal self image; 2/ observed differences between pregnant and postpartum women are basically consistent with the change of the role which is associated with the pregnancy and postpartum period; 3/ a positive change of the real self image, which is connected with the maternal role in the postpartum period, takes place in women irrespectively of their depression; 4/ observed multiple and significant differences between the ideal and real self image in pregnant as well as postpartum women with perinatal depressive disturbances indicate their lack of self-acceptance which requires individualized psychological intervention.

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