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A scoping review to determine themes that represent perceptions of self as mother (‘ideal mother’ vs ‘real mother’)

Hollins Martin, Caroline; Anderson, Lara; Martin, Colin


Caroline Hollins Martin

Lara Anderson

Colin Martin


Background: Postnatal Depression (PND) is a key cause of maternal morbidity, with current systems of initial recognition in the UK detecting only 50% of cases. In attempts to predict those potentially at risk, this review suggests a novel approach.
Aim: Implementing the concept of ‘ideal mother’ versus ‘real mother’, and asking the woman to compare their ‘ideal self’ against ‘existent self’, the aim of this instrument development review was to determine themes from the literature that relate to women’s perceptions of self as a mother, and from this identification develop questions for inclusion within a proposed new measure entitled the Self-Image as Mother Scale (SIMS).
Method: A scoping review of the literature was carried out to: (1) identify themes considered to affect perception of self as mother, and from this identification, evidence-based questions for inclusion in the SIMS were developed.
Findings: Themes identified included (1) marital dissatisfaction, (2) inadequate partner support, (3) lack of family support, (4) socio-economic status and associated poverty, (5) concern about infant, (6) antenatal/postnatal complications, (7) acceptance of infant gender, (8) history of mental health problems, (9) unplanned pregnancy.
Conclusions: From this scoping review 18 questions were developed for inclusion in the SIMS, which will then be evaluated for psychometric properties, scale refinement and validation.


Hollins Martin, C., Anderson, L., & Martin, C. (2019). A scoping review to determine themes that represent perceptions of self as mother (‘ideal mother’ vs ‘real mother’). Journal of reproductive and infant psychology, 37(3), 224-241.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 7, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 16, 2018
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Dec 17, 2019
Print ISSN 0264-6838
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 3
Pages 224-241
Keywords Midwives; Perinatal mental illness; Postnatal depression; ASAP; Predictors; Ideal self; Real self; Self-Image as Mother Scale (SIMS)
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