Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women who miscarry continue to have mental health problems, even after healthy birth

Date:
March 3, 2011
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
The depression and anxiety experienced by many women after a miscarriage can continue for years, even after the birth of a healthy child, according to a new study.

The depression and anxiety experienced by many women after a miscarriage can continue for years, even after the birth of a healthy child, according to a study led by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers and published online by the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Related Articles


"Our study clearly shows that the birth of a healthy baby does not resolve the mental health problems that many women experience after a miscarriage or stillbirth," said Emma Robertson Blackmore, Ph.D., assistant professor of Psychiatry at the Medical Center and the lead researcher. "This finding is important because, when assessing if a women is at risk of antenatal or postnatal depression, previous pregnancy loss is usually not taken into account in the same way as other risk factors such as a family history of depression, stressful life events or a lack of social support."

"We know that maternal depression can have adverse impacts on children and families," Robertson Blackmore said. "If we offer targeted support during pregnancy to women who have previously lost a baby, we may be able to improve health outcomes for both the women and their children."

Pregnancy loss by miscarriage or stillbirth affects more than an estimated one million women in the United States annually. Between 50 and 80 percent of women who experience pregnancy loss become pregnant again.

The researchers studied 13,133 pregnant women in the United Kingdom who were taking part in a long-term study known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. The women were asked to report the number of previous miscarriages and stillbirths they had experienced. They were assessed for symptoms of depression and anxiety twice during their pregnancy and four times after giving birth, at 8 weeks, 8 months, 21 months and 33 months. The majority of women reported no miscarriages. But 2,823 women, or 21 percent, reported having one or more previous miscarriages, while 108 reported having one previous stillbirth and three women had two previous stillbirths.

"We found no evidence that affective symptoms associated with previous prenatal loss resolve with the birth of a healthy child. Rather, previous prenatal loss showed a persisting prediction of depressive and anxiety symptoms well after what would conventionally be defined as the postnatal period," the researchers concluded.

Of the women who had one miscarriage or stillbirth before giving birth to a healthy child, for example, almost 13 percent still had symptoms of depression 33 months after the birth. Of those with two previous losses, almost 19 percent had symptoms of depression 33 months after the birth of a healthy child.

Prenatal loss is not routinely considered a risk factor for antenatal or postpartum depression in the same way as, for instance, personal or family history of depression, exposure to stressful life events or lack of social support, according to the study. Routinely assessing loss history would be valuable as a predictor of current and postpartum risk and as a possible marker for intervention, the researcher.

"Given the adverse outcomes of persistent maternal depression on both child and family outcomes, early recognition of symptoms can lead to preventive interventions to reduce the burden of illness, provide coping strategies to reduce anxiety and depression and promote healthy adjustment of the mother, family and child," the researchers stated.

In addition to Robertson Blackmore, the authors of the study include: Denise Côté-Arsenault, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Rochester School of Nursing; Wan Tang, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Biostatistics, and Thomas G. O'Connor, Ph.D., professor of Psychiatry, both of the Medical Center; Vivette Glover, Ph.D., professor of Perinatal Psychobiology at the Imperial College School of Medicine, London, United Kingdom; and Jonathan Evans, Ph.D., consultant senior lecturer in Psychiatry, and Jean Golding, Ph.D., emeritus professor of Pediatrics and Perinatal Epidemiology, both of University of Bristol, United Kingdom.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Emma Robertson Blackmore, Denise Côté-Arsenault, Wan Tang, Vivette Glover, Jonathan Evans, Jean Golding, and Thomas G. O’Connor. Previous prenatal loss as a predictor of perinatal depression and anxiety. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 2011; DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.083105

Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Women who miscarry continue to have mental health problems, even after healthy birth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303065213.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2011, March 3). Women who miscarry continue to have mental health problems, even after healthy birth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303065213.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Women who miscarry continue to have mental health problems, even after healthy birth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110303065213.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) — A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) — Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bracing to Meet a Killer: Aid Workers Prep for Ebola in Geneva

Bracing to Meet a Killer: Aid Workers Prep for Ebola in Geneva

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) — At the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, around 30 doctors, nurses, lab technicians and water and sanitation workers are gathered for a crash-course in how to safely deal Ebola. Duration: 01:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins