Previous Prenatal Loss Is Predictor of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

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The current issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry has published a study confirming that "… The loss of a childthrough miscarriage or stillbirth has been associated withdepression and anxiety during subsequent pregnancy. RobertsonBlackmoreet aldemonstrate that symptomsof depression and anxiety persist after the birth of a healthychild and well into the postnatal period. They suggest thathistory of prenatal loss should be viewed as a risk factorfor depression and that early recognition of such symptomswould help in preventive interventions to promote healthy adjustmentfor both mother and child." This large study looked at the cases of more than 13,000 mothers in England.

We have known that miscarriage or stillbirth is a risk factor of postpartum depression or anxiety, but it is certainly good to see more research being conducted in this area. If you are looking for more resources on this, please read 3 Ways to Support Women Who've Experienced Pregnancy Loss (Miscarriage or Stillbirth)

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About Katherine Stone

is the founder & editor of Postpartum Progress. She was named one of the ten most influential mom bloggers of 2011, a WebMD Health Hero and one of the top 25 parent bloggers using social media for social good. She also writes the Fierce Blog, and a parenting column for Disney's Babble.com.

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  1. It is definitely the biggest contributing factor to my current PPD. I lost a child in Feb 2010 and my daughter was born in Feb 2011. I suffered greatly with depression after the miscarriage and anxiety throughout the entire pregnancy. This is my third child and I did not have PPD/Anxiety with my second (just baby blues that went away) but did have it with my first.
    Another note, my hospital did flag me as high risk in the hospital both because of my miscarriage and my ratings on a “test’ they give.

  2. With my perfectionistic personality, and traumatic birth, I thought that was enough to fit the bill as to what contributed to my PPA/PPD. I also had 2 miscarriages in a row before my daughter was born….one more factor as to why I was doomed.
    Still looking for redemption though as I plan for baby #2!

  3. Amanda Wingate says:

    I've had 3 miscarriages and a still-birth. My first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage. My second was a successful pregnancy in which, I delivered a beautiful baby boy in December of 06. I had no post partum problems or disorders. The next pregnancy was a still-birth followed by 2 more miscarriages. In January of 09, I found out I was pregnant and was immediately considered high-risk. I had no idea that I was likely to experience PPD because of my history, I hadn't even ever really heard about or discussed it. After the successful birth of my precious baby girl in Sept 06, IMMEDIATELY after her birth, I knew something was wrong. 4 weeks later, I was diagnosed with PPD and PPA. It took weeks before I was functioning, and even now, I stil, feel as though I am healing from that terrible "disease" that robbed me of so much. Thank you for this post, I've often wondered "why me?" and now, it almost makes sense.

  4. Amanda says:

    I had a miscarriage and didn't think much of it because I was only 8 weeks along and others didn't seem to think it was a big deal. After hormone supplements to move things along I got pregnant again. I had a long hard labor that resulted in a c-section and ended up with PPD weeks later. In my therapy it came out that my miscarriage affected me way more than I knew. Looking back I realized that I had become depressed after my loss and became obsessed with getting pregnant again as a distraction. Luckily I was great and excited with anticipation while pregnant but then it was even more of a shock when I got PPD.