Depression dogs women after miscarriage

March 4th, 2011 - 1:10 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 3 (IANS) Depression and anxiety can dog many women after a miscarriage for years, even after they successfully give birth to a healthy child.

“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, assistant professor at University of Rochester Medical Centre in the US.

“This finding is important because…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,” said Blackmore, who led the study, reports the British Journal of Psychiatry.

“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,” said Blackmore, according to a Rochester Medical Centre.

Researchers studied 13,133 pregnant women in Britain. These women were taking part in a long-term study known as the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

They were assessed for symptoms of depression and anxiety twice during their pregnancy and four times after giving birth, at eight weeks, eight 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,” said Blackmore.

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