Journal of Student Nursing Research


Perinatal depression and increased stress levels may be more prevalent in same-sex female couples than heterosexually active couples. Several studies have illustrated that lesbians are at greater risk for heightened stress and anxiety around the time of pregnancy and family planning (Trettin, Moses-Kolko, & Wisner, 2005). Improved education for health care providers may lead to greater awareness ofhow to cater to alternative families. Simple changes like using gender-neutral pronouns such as "partner" or "significant other" instead of "father of the baby", "boyfriend", or "husband" can make a safer atmosphere for lesbian couples. Creating a comfortable environment for same-sex female couples can lead to disclosure of sexual orientation, which provides information for the health care provider on how to best serve that couple; this could ensure optimum care and decrease the risk of perinatal depression in this population.