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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2013 Sep;22(9):760-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2012.4011.

Increased risk for postpartum psychiatric disorders among women with past pregnancy loss.

Author information

1
Veterans' Administration Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA 98108, USA. Stephanie.giannandrea2@va.gov

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Scant literature exists on whether prior pregnancy loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, and/or induced abortion) increases the risk of postpartum psychiatric disorders-specifically depression and anxiety-after subsequent births. This study compares: (1) risk factors for depression and/or anxiety disorders in the postpartum year among women with and without prior pregnancy loss; and (2) rates of these disorders in women with one versus multiple pregnancy losses.

METHODS:

One-hundred-ninety-two women recruited at first-year pediatric well-child care visits from an urban pediatric clinic provided demographic information, reproductive and health histories. They also completed depression screening tools and a standard semi-structured psychiatric diagnostic interview.

RESULTS:

Almost half of the participants (49%) reported a previous pregnancy loss (miscarriage, stillbirth, or induced abortion). More than half of those with a history of pregnancy loss reported more than one loss (52%). Women with prior pregnancy loss were more likely to be diagnosed with major depression (p=0.002) than women without a history of loss. Women with multiple losses were more likely to be diagnosed with major depression (p=0.047) and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (Fisher's exact [FET]=0.028) than women with a history of one pregnancy loss. Loss type was not related to depression, although number of losses was related to the presence of depression and anxiety.

CONCLUSIONS:

Low-income urban mothers have high rates of pregnancy loss and often have experienced more than one loss and/or more than one type of loss. Women with a history of pregnancy loss are at increased risk for depression and anxiety, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), after the birth of a child. Future research is needed to understand the reasons that previous pregnancy loss is associated with subsequent postpartum depression and anxiety among this population of women.

PMID:
24007380
PMCID:
PMC3768229
DOI:
10.1089/jwh.2012.4011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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