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Can J Psychiatry. 1984 Oct;29(6):494-8.

Abortion and subsequent pregnancy.

Abstract

Two hundred and fifty-four women were followed from the second trimester of pregnancy until twelve months postpartum. Of these women, twenty-eight had had a prior therapeutic abortion and 216 women had no previous abortion. During their pregnancy and the postpartum period, the women completed a series of psychological and attitudinal measures. Analysis revealed that there were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of their demographic status, their obstetric experience or attitudes towards labour and birth. The study failed to demonstrate a relationship between anxiety during pregnancy and a prior abortion, nor were there any indications of inadequate maternal functioning. Women who had a prior abortion scored higher on the autonomy and nurturance subscales of the Personality Research Form, and had higher levels of depressive affect in the third trimester of pregnancy and in the postpartum period.

PIP:

The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between prior therapeutic abortion and psychological functioning during a subsequent pregnancy. A longitudinal study of the psychological functioning of women throughout prenancy, childbirth and up to 12 months postpartum allowed investigation of this relationship in more depth. 254 women residing in the city of Vancouver in Canada were followed from the 2nd trimester of pregnancy until 12 months postpartum. Of these women, 28 had no previous abortion. During their pregnancy and the postpartum period, the women completed a series of psychological and attitudinal measures. Analysis revealed no significant difference between the 2 groups in terms of their demographic status, their obstetric experience or attitudes toward labor and birth. The study failed to demonstrate a relationship between anxiety during pregnancy and a prior abortion, nor were there any indications of inadequate maternal functioning. Women who had a prior abortion scored higher on the autonomy and nurturance subscales of the Personality Research Form, and had higher levels of depressive affect in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and in the postpartum period. There was a significant difference between the 2 groups of women relating to social adjustment in the prenatal period. Women with prior abortion experience reported feeling less adjustment than the nonaborters. The 2 groups did not differ significantly in length of gestation, length of labor or birthweight of the baby. Neither was there a significant difference in the number of days that mothers and babies remained in the hospital after birth. At both the 6-month and the 12-month postpartum follow-ups a higher proportion of aborters were working fulltime compared to the nonaborters. There was no relationship between abortion and problems experienced during the postpartum period relating to either the mother or her infant (method of infant feeding, length of time breastfeeding, problems with infant feeding, infant illness). The findings indicate that prior abortion was not followed by negative consequences as reflected in maternal psychological functioning or maternal attitudes towards the baby.

PMID:
6488130
DOI:
10.1177/070674378402900608
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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