Journal Article

Birth Mothers and their Mental Health: Uncharted Territory


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 26, issue 5, pages 609-625
Published in print October 1996 | ISSN: 0045-3102
e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Birth Mothers and their Mental Health: Uncharted Territory

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This article reports the findings of a study commissioned by the Mental Health Foundation which examined the experiences and needs of birth mothers who relinquished a child for adoption. Historically, birth mothers have been neglected in the British literature; their experience is considered to have ended at the time of placement. This research however, indicates the long-term implications of relinquishment are severe—particularly in relation to mental health. They demand that the complexity and uniqueness of relinquishment as a form of loss be more fully understood, birth mothers' reactions to those experiences are not pathologized and professionals learn to respond more positively. GP's in particular need to develop a more sensitive understanding of their needs and in so doing could prevent the medicalization of some birth mothers.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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