Depression Persists Long After Miscarriage

March 4, 2011

The statement, “It’s okay, you can try again,” is even less useful advice to a grieving mother than originally thought.

The statement, “It’s okay, you can try again,” is even less useful advice to a grieving mother than originally thought. Emma Robertson Blackmore, PhD, and colleagues report in the British Journal of Psychiatry that depression symptoms can linger in some women for many years. Moreover, the birth of a healthy child subsequent to a miscarriage does little to replace that sadness. In fact, a healthy birth can even exacerbate feelings of despondency in mothers. The researchers used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children.

Of 13,133 British families, 21% reported one or more lost pregnancies, and of that group, 13% of mothers were depressed 33 months after a successful birth. This busts the belief that a new baby will always heal a mother’s broken heart. Psychological interventions for women who have experienced prenatal loss may improve health outcomes.

Related topics:Postpartum Anxiety or Depression? Diagnosis and Treatment in Nursing MothersPostpartum Depression: Risk Factors and Treatment Options