Medical Mistrust in Perinatal Mental Health

Harv Rev Psychiatry. 2022 Jul-Aug;30(4):238-247. doi: 10.1097/HRP.0000000000000345.


Despite the advancement of telemedicine and recent innovations in treatment, minoritized women continue to bear a disproportionate burden of pregnancy-related psychiatric conditions and complications, which the pandemic has further exacerbated. Research demonstrates that medical mistrust and systemic racism play central roles in the underutilization of services by racially and ethnically diverse women during pregnancy and postpartum. To effectively address these disparities, it is imperative to understand the drivers of medical mistrust in perinatal health care systems. This Perspectives article describes the historical context of medical mistrust in psychiatric and obstetric health systems and offers solutions to mitigate mistrust and the impact of systemic racism on perinatal care.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders*
  • Mental Health
  • Pregnancy
  • Telemedicine*
  • Trust / psychology