The title of this issue, Perinatal health, refers to the first 1001 days of a human being, namely from conception until a child is two years of age. This is indeed the most important period in the life of a child.
The importance of mental health in this period, i.e., perinatal mental health, has become a significant focus of interest in recent years. In some parts of the world there are specialist mental health services and dedicated inpatient psychiatric mother and baby units.
It is indeed a fact that perinatal mental disorders are common. They represent the most common complication of child–bearing – and are associated with considerable maternal and foetal/infant morbidity and mortality. It is well known that perinatal psychiatric morbidity, apart from its effect on the mother, has impact on neonatal, infant and child outcomes. Depression and alcohol misuse seem to be the major conditions associated with future childhood mental problems.
In the postpartum period, women are more than twenty times more likely to have a psychiatric admission in the month following birth than in the pre-pregnancy period. It is well documented that the trigger for perinatal mental disorders is mainly severe mood disorders.
Perinatal mental health is indeed a huge field, where there is lots to learn about the efficacy of psychological, psychosocial, and pharmacological interventions. There is plenty of knowledge about this field in the Nordic countries, both in terms of research and clinical work. Chosen as the main topic of this issue, we hope to spread this knowledge and inspiration from the work and experiences from countries in our part of the world.
You will in this issue read about basic research, clinical settings, practical guidelines, cultural influences and much more. You will also recognize the need for cooperation with other specialties.
This issue of The Nordic Psychiatrist marks the journal’s ten-year anniversary. The journal has been published biannually since 2012 and is the voice of the Nordic-Baltic psychiatric collaboration, which is more than a century old. I wish you an interesting and pleasant reading. □