Marital and family relationships among women with severe mental illness during perinatal period admitted to a mother baby psychiatric unit, India


  • Gurinder Preet Kaur Alpha Healing Centre, Narukot, Pavagadh, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
  • Kimneihat Vaiphei Department of Psychiatric Social Work, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Sundernag Ganjekar Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Harish Thippeswamy Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Prabha S. Chandra Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Geetha Desai Department of Psychiatry, NIMHANS, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India



Severe mental Illness, Perinatal, Marital and family relationships


Background: Pregnancy and transition to parenthood is often a stressful event and brings about more profound changes than any other developmental stage of the family life cycle. Consequently, pregnancy and post-partum are times of increased vulnerability for the onset or relapse of a mental illness. The current paper aimed at understanding the marital and family relationships among women with severe mental illness during the perinatal period in India.

Methods: The study included a retrospective chart review of mothers admitted to a mother-baby unit between the years January 2015 to March 2020. We included all mothers who were married and had onset of SMI in the perinatal period. Details of socio-demographic, clinical profile and descriptive understanding of relationships were collected.

Results: The total sample was 149, mean age of women in years was 25.27 (SD=4.97). The clinical diagnosis included non-affective psychosis (45.5%), affective psychosis (42.2%) with 130 (87.24%) women having their first episode of SMI during the postpartum period. More than half of the women admitted to the ward reported having problems in their marital relationship, with 25% experiencing violence from their spouses and in-laws. Interpersonal issues with their in-laws in the context of violence, household chores and poor support.

Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of routine assessments of the quality of marital and family relationships including domestic violence. There is a need to provide interventions aimed at helping women deal with difficulties in intimate and social relationships.


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How to Cite

Kaur, G. P., Vaiphei, K., Ganjekar, S., Thippeswamy, H., Chandra, P. S., & Desai, G. (2023). Marital and family relationships among women with severe mental illness during perinatal period admitted to a mother baby psychiatric unit, India. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 10(2), 672–676.



Original Research Articles