Neonaticide and hysterical denial of pregnancy
Neonaticide refers to the killing of a baby within 24 hours of its birth. Despite the suggestion that neonaticide may be fairly common, the psychiatric literature does not include very many studies on it. Reports of the prevalence of this event may be underestimated because in many cases, the pregnancy and the death may have been successfully concealed. Neonaticide is usually committed by young, unmarried women who are otherwise not suffering from mental illness. They usually report that the child is unwanted and often the child is illegitimate. Two groups of women have emerged in the literature: those who are sexually and emotionally immature and may, due to external pressures, kill the baby after panicking; and strong-minded women who plan the neonaticide well before birth. A case study is presented of a 23-year-old single woman who gave birth alone in the bathroom and drowned the baby when she gave birth, because of the denial on her part that she was pregnant. She was found later that day, with the baby, by her boyfriend. The patient fits the first characterization of an immature woman who panicked, and the case illustrates the plight of having an illegitimate child. Given that the mother in this case was known to be pregnant, it is suggested that physicians must be aware of the psychosocial pressures that pregnant women encounter so that similar situations can be prevented. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: British Journal of Psychiatry
Termination of pregnancy: revision notes
Prostaglandin pessaries used in combination with the newer drug mifepristone offer an effective alternative to the vacuum aspiration procedure used in 86% of the 180,000 or so induced abortions carried out in the UK each year. Vacuum aspiration of the uterus under general or local anaesthetic is safe and highly effective and is the most widely used procedure for therapeutic abortions performed in the first trimester of pregnancy. However the use of drugs overcomes the complications related to surgical and anaesthetic techniques and gestational age that can arise.
Publication Name: Nursing Times
The perils of adolescent pregnancy
Teenage pregnancy is associated with medical problems such as prematurity and infant mortality, as well as with social problems such as one-parent families. Midwives can play a role in preventing teenage pregnancy, providing prenatal care and offering advice on parenting.
Publication Name: World Health
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