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Experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties as a non-birthing mother in a female same-sex couple: a wider reflection on heteronormative cis-gendered care in maternity services
  1. Alessio Gubello
  1. Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alessio Gubello, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Bruxelles, Belgium; alessio.gubello{at}

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Commentary on: Howat A, Masterson C, Darwin Z. Non-birthing mothers' experiences of perinatal anxiety and depression: Uunderstanding the perspectives of the non-birthing mothers in female same-sex parented families. Midwifery. 2023 May;120:103650. doi: 10.1016/j.midw.2023.103650. Epub 2023 Mar 2.

Implications for practice and research

  • Maternity services and professionals should have a reflective approach on their heteronormative and cis-gendered model, creating inclusive space for non-birthing mothers and considering the extra challenges coming from being non-birthing parents and belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • The needs and the challenges connected to multiple minority status should be addressed in further research, aiming at informing practitioners and researchers on how these factors may interfere with recoverrecovery from perinatal mental health difficulties.


Even if numerous studies have already reported evidence of the high rate of perinatal mental health (PMH) difficulties in mothers in many countries worldwide and have also highlighted the presence of other …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.