Transition to Parenthood and Bipolar Disorder
What is the Decision-Making Process, Information and Support Needs of Women with Bipolar Disorder and their Partners from Pre-Conception to the Early Postnatal Period?
The birth of the first child - often referred to as transition to parenthood - is an important and often joyful life event, however, for women with pre-existing severe mental illnesses (such as bipolar disorder) and their partners, it can also be a time of heightened psychosocial distress and complex decision-making. This study aims to gain a better understanding of the decision-making process, information and support needs as experienced by women with bipolar disorder and their partners in each stage of their journey from pre-conception to the early postnatal period. Data will be collected and analysed using a constructivist grounded theory approach. Up to 20 interviews will be conducted in the UK with women diagnosed with bipolar disorder before becoming mothers (up to n=10) and/or their partners (up to n=10) with a first child under 5 years old. Findings of this project, guided by the voices of those with lived experiences, would provide additional information for future service design, perinatal mental health policy, and clinical practice suited to the needs of the individuals who use them.
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