Date of Award
Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
Whitney Lucas Molitor, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, BCG
Unplanned pregnancy, mental health, depression, stress, well-being, changing roles, maternal occupations, social support, Lifestyle Redesign®
Unplanned pregnancy can have a significant effect on the health and well-being of both the mother and her child. Those who experience an unplanned pregnancy are two times more likely to experience maternal depression or stress than those who plan their pregnancies which can negatively impact the mother-infant bond. This capstone sought to explore occupational therapy’s role within perinatal care, specifically addressing the mental health needs of women in unplanned pregnancies by collaborating with already established programs at a pregnancy resource center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and incorporating the principles of occupational therapy. It explored the use of modules from Lifestyle Redesign® to address mental well-being in the areas of stress management, sleep hygiene, occupational competence, and social support. Instrumentalism guided intervention in considering the mind as a tool that can be used to promote change in one’s life. The lived experiences shared by women who participated in the programs aligned with themes that emerged from a review of the literature. Lifestyle Redesign® served as means by which they were able to identify stress management techniques, learn about sleep hygiene practices, and identify social supports in their lives.
Korn, Sydney M., "Exploring Occupational Therapy in Perinatal Care: Promoting the Mental Health and Well-Being of Women During and After an Unplanned Pregnancy" (2022). Occupational Therapy Capstone Presentations. 80.