Connect
MJA
MJA

Maternal mortality and psychiatric morbidity in the perinatal period: challenges and opportunities for prevention in the Australian setting

Marie-Paule Austin, Susan Kildea and Elizabeth Sullivan
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (7): 364-367.
  • Marie-Paule Austin1
  • Susan Kildea2
  • Elizabeth Sullivan3

  • 1 School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.
  • 2 Graduate School for Health Practice, Institute of Advanced Studies, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT.
  • 3 School of Women’s and Children’s Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW.

Correspondence: m.austin@unsw.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

We wish to acknowledge the support of Associate Professor James King, Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Advisory Committee on Maternal Mortality, and the state and territory committees for provision of data to the national maternal death data collection. We are also grateful for comments from Dr Leo Leader, Professor Michael Bennett and Professor Gordon Parker on earlier versions of the manuscript.

Competing interests:

None identified.

  • 1. World Health Organization. International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems, 10th revision (ICD-10). Vol II. Geneva: WHO, 1993.
  • 2. National Institute for Clinical Excellence; Scottish Executive Health Department; Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Northern Ireland. Why mothers die 1997–1999. Fifth report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. London: RCOG Press, 2001.
  • 3. Hoj L, da Silva D, Hedegaard K, et al. Maternal mortality: only 42 days? BJOG 2003; 110: 995-1000.
  • 4. Horon IL, Cheng D. Enhanced surveillance for pregnancy-associated mortality: Maryland, 1993–1998. JAMA 2001; 285: 1455-1459.
  • 5. Lewis G, editor; Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health. Why mothers die 2000–2002. Sixth report of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the United Kingdom. Ch. 11A: Deaths from suicide and other psychiatric causes. London: RCOG Press, 2004.
  • 6. Oates M. Suicide: the leading cause of maternal death. Br J Psychiatry 2003; 183: 279-281.
  • 7. Gissler M, Hemminki E, Lonnqvist J. Suicides after pregnancy in Finland, 1987–1994: register linkage study. BMJ 1996; 313: 1431-1434.
  • 8. Austin MP. Antenatal screening and early intervention for “perinatal” distress, depression and anxiety: where to from here? Arch Womens Ment Health 2004; 7: 1-6.
  • 9. Ford J, Sullivan E, Walters W, et al, editors. Report on maternal deaths in Australia 1994–96. Canberra: National Health and Medical Research Council and Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Perinatal Statistics Unit, 2001. (NHMRC Cat. No. 0145246; AIHW Cat. No. PER 13.) http://www.npsu.unsw.edu.au/mda9496.pdf (accessed Jul 2006).
  • 10. Slaytor EK, Sullivan EA, King JF. Maternal deaths in Australia 1997–1999. Sydney: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Perinatal Statistics Unit, 2004. (AIHW Cat. No. PER 24; Maternal Deaths Series No. 1.) http://www.npsu.unsw.edu.au/Final%20MD%20report%20August%20 24%202004.pdf (accessed Jul 2006).
  • 11. Sullivan EA, King JF, editors. Maternal deaths in Australia 2000–2002. Sydney: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Perinatal Statistics Unit, 2006. (AIHW Cat. No. PER 32; Maternal Deaths Series No. 2.) http://www.npsu.unsw.edu.au/MD2002_02%2017%20Oct%202006.pdf (accessed Jul 2006).
  • 12. Appleby L, Mortensen PB, Faragher EB. Suicide and other causes of mortality after post-partum psychiatric admission. Br J Psychiatry 1998; 173: 209-211.
  • 13. Högberg U, Innala E, Sandström A. Maternal mortality in Sweden, 1980–1988. Obstet Gynecol 1994; 84: 240-244.
  • 14. Lindahl V, Pearson JL, Colpe L. Prevalence of suicidality during pregnancy and the postpartum. Arch Womens Ment Health 2005; 8: 77-87.
  • 15. The beyondblue National Postnatal Depression Program. Prevention and early intervention 2001–2005. Final report. http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=4.665 (accessed Feb 2007).

Author

remove_circle_outline Delete Author
add_circle_outline Add Author

Comment
Do you have any competing interests to declare? *

I/we agree to assign copyright to the Medical Journal of Australia and agree to the Conditions of publication *
I/we agree to the Terms of use of the Medical Journal of Australia *
Email me when people comment on this article

Responses are now closed for this article.