Previous Prenatal Loss as a Predictor of Perinatal Depression and Anxiety

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Denise Côté-Arsenault, Professor; Department Chair (Parent & Child Nursing) (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Background- Prenatal loss, the death of a fetus/child through miscarriage or stillbirth, is associated with significant depression and anxiety, particularly in a subsequent pregnancy. Aims- This study examined the degree to which symptoms of depression and anxiety associated with a previous loss persisted following a subsequent successful pregnancy. Method- Data were derived from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children cohort, a longitudinal cohort study in the west of England that has followed mothers from pregnancy into the postnatal period. A total of 13 133 mothers reported on the number and conditions of previous perinatal losses and provided self-report measures of depression and anxiety at 18 and 32 weeks’ gestation and at 8 weeks and 8, 21 and 33 months postnatally. Controls for pregnancy outcome and obstetric and psychosocial factors were included. Results- Generalised estimating equations indicated that the number of previous miscarriages/stillbirths significantly predicted symptoms of depression (ß = 0.18, s.e. = 0.07, P<0.01) and anxiety (ß = 0.14, s.e. = 0.05, P<0.01) in a subsequent pregnancy, independent of key psychosocial and obstetric factors. This association remained constant across the pre- and postnatal period, indicating that the impact of a previous prenatal loss did not diminish significantly following the birth of a healthy child. Conclusions- Depression and anxiety associated with a previous prenatal loss shows a persisting pattern that continues after the birth of a subsequent (healthy) child. Interventions targeting women with previous prenatal loss may improve the health outcomes of women and their children.

Additional Information

Publication
British Journal of Psychiatry, 198, 373-378
Language: English
Date: 2011
Keywords
postpartum depression, postnatal depression, maternal depression, pregnancy loss, miscarriage, anxiety