Existential aspects as an inevitable part of salutogenesis in maternity care – A discussion paper

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Background: Poor mental health is considered a major health challenge globally, not least for young people, who will form families within forthcoming years. Research related to childbirth and parenthood transition has focused on how to promote good mental health by preventing mental illness. Aim: We discuss how a salutogenetic approach to mental health in parenthood transition is beneficial, and specifically how the component of meaningfulness in Sense of Coherence (SoC), could be investigated to optimize good mental health during parenthood transition. Discussion: In more recent understandings of meaningfulness, ideas from existential philosophy and psychology have been included. We discuss how, from an existential psychological perspective, open and explorative questioning of life conditions and dilemmas may help to regain one's footing and get in touch with one's driving force – meaningfulness. Such questioning implies that someone, a professional or a friend, actively and relationally helps explore existential aspects of life. Conclusion: We believe that investigating and asking research questions pointing at optimizing a salutogenetic perspective, specifically focusing on the component of meaningfulness and its embedded existential aspects of life, could lead to new knowledge on how to promote good mental health in maternity care.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)532-535
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Childbirth
  • Mental health
  • Parents
  • Salutogenesis
  • Pregnancy
  • Humans
  • Adolescent
  • Maternal Health Services
  • Female
  • Sense of Coherence


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