Prevention network Western Pomerania: Mental and neurobiological health in pregnant women and young mothers

Perinatal stress and mental strain can have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of mother and child. Maternal stress and mental problems can affect the fetal growth and increase the risk of premature births and low birth weight. There is a risk that the maternal stress may be transferred to the child caused by transgenerational transmission. This occurs e. g. via the placenta blood exchange, fetal adaptation processes, epigenetic and hormonal programming.

Mothers who are mentally burdened are less aware of the emotional and developmental needs of their children, which leads to an impairment of the mother-child interactions and the binding processes. The further physical and cognitive development of the children is also at risk and deficits in the school, social and psychological development of these children are much more likely. In Germany, 43. 6% of pregnant women suffer from at least one mental illness, most often from depression and anxiety.

The PriVileG-M study is aimed at pregnant women in Western Pomerania. The expectant mothers are supported by counselling, psychotherapy and telemedicine to reduce their stress level and that of their child, to build a stable relationship with their child and to react more confidently in conflicts (strengthening their self-competence). In addition, a qualification for non-medical specialists will be developed to enable them to identify mental problems in pregnant women at an early stage and to initiate assistance.

PriVileG-M is funded by the Excellence Initiative of the State of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The project is coordinated by the Clinic and Polyclinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University Medicine Greifswald. Further partners are the Institute of Psychology, Chair of Health and Prevention at the University of Greifswald, the Clinic and Polyclinic for Gynaecology and Obstetrics of the University Medicine Greifswald, the Clinic and Polyclinic for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine with the Department of Neonatology and Pediatric Intensive Care of the University Medicine Greifswald, the Institute for Community Medicine, Department Epidemiology of Health Care and Community Health of the University Medicine Greifswald and the Department of Health, Nursing, Management, Chair of Nursing Science/Outpatient Services of the Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences.

Contact at University of Greifswald
Juliane  Corleis
University of Greifswald
Walter- Rathenau- Straße 43-45, Room 081
17489 Greifswald
Tel: +49 3834 420 5700


Research project within the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania State Excellence Initiative, funded by the European Union (ESF)