Reducing Maternal Stress in Ireland

Stress experienced by women during pregnancy and up to two years after the baby is born can have negative consequences for the mother and the child. Strategies and guidelines to reduce stress experienced during pregnancy and early parenthood is lacking in Ireland. In this project the research team will develop an intervention (guidelines and strategies) to reduce stress for women during pregnancy and up to two years after the baby is born. This intervention can be included in maternal and child health programmes in Ireland and can be delivered in practice by healthcare professionals. To do this the research will address four research aims: 1. To compile information from existing studies and examine what works to reduce stress during pregnancy and/or up to two years after the birth. 2. To use existing information to identify effects of pregnant women and mothers'stress on child health and development in Ireland; this can inform how we address stress and its consequences for child health. 3. To increase our understanding of stress and stress-reduction supports during pregnancy and up to two years after birth in Ireland. Women, their partners, and health care professionals will be interviewed to understand their experiences of stress and preferences for support. 4. To develop stress-reduction guidelines and strategies that can be delivered as part of national strategies and by health care professionals (e.g. GP, Public Health Nurse) in person, via leaflets, and online. Reducing stress for pregnant women and mothers in Ireland is an important and timely concern with benefits for women and children. This research will provide guidelines and strategies to reduce stress during pregnancy and up to two years after the birth, which is based on scientific evidence and the experiences, needs and preferences of women, their partners, and healthcare professionals.

Award Date
27 September 2018
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Karen Matvienko-Sikar
Host Institution
University College Cork
Applying Research into Policy & Practice Postdoctoral Fellowships