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The projected impact of pre-existing mental illness on perinatal mental health, pregnancy and birth among young Australian women (born 1989-95)


Previous mental health is a strong predictor of perinatal mental health, such that women with poor mental health before they are pregnant are much more likely to experience mental health issues during and after pregnancy. Analysis of ALSWH data has previously shown the robust link between past mental health and antenatal and postnatal mental health problems among women born 1973-78. A very high proportion of the ALSWH cohort born 1989-95 have reported psychological distress and diagnosed mental health disorders, much higher than the number of women reporting these issues in the cohort born 1973-78. As the 1989-95 cohort enter the childbearing years, it is important to understand the scope of mental health issues that might be experienced by women in this age group, given the high proportion who have a history of mental health problems.