gynecology and obstetrics medical project, gynecology journal, obstetrics, gynecologic oncology, reproductive medicine, gynecological endoscopy, ultrasonography, gynecology articles

Ginekologia i Poloznictwo
ISSN 1896-3315 e-ISSN 1898-0759

An analysis of the needs of parents in newborn care? an effect of the missing fourth trimester



Introductions. The concept of the missing fourth trimester assumes that the pregnancy endsin about 3 months premature. The first three months of newborn’s life are difficult both forthe baby – because of the exposure to external stimuli, what is manifested in difficulties withinthe process of nursing and meeting child’s needs, and his parents – among other things dueto the rearrangement of the interaction between family members as a result of the appearanceof the child.The Aim. The aim of the elaboration was to analyze the psychological effect of the missing fourth trimester, defined as not perceiving a newborn as a separate member of the family byparents. Material and methods. In the period of 2009-2010, at the Clinical Hospital of the Medical University in Gdañsk, a survey was conducted among 175 mothers and 99 fathers present inthe Department of Gynaecology and Obstetrics due to births of their children. The FASTprojection method was used for the surveyed persons to present their current family structure.Also, in compliance with the ecological approach to psychological research, the persons wereasked directly whether they had any children and, if so, how many of them thay had.Results. 42% of mothers and 40% of fathers did not include the newborn child in their family.Preliminary analyses indicate that couples who had not planned the pregnancy are particularlyendangered by the missing fourth trimester effect: 30% of mothers who had not planned theirpregnancy answered in the negative when asked whether they had any children. The rate waslower in the group of women who had experienced reproductive difficulties or who had plan-ned the pregnancy, respectively, 16% in the first group and 19% in the second group.Conclisions. Analysis of the fourth trimester effect from the psychological perspective showsthe need to support young parents in the care of newborns, as well as in family adaptationto the new situation.