Mental Health

Depression Can Last Up to 3 Years After Miscarriage

| by Alex Groberman

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, feelings of depression and anxiety following a miscarriage can last up to three years after the birth of a healthy baby for some women.

For the purposes of this study, 13,133 pregnant women were researched. Of that total, 21 percent had experienced one or multiple miscarriages in the past, 108 had one previous stillbirth, and three women had two previous stillborns. All of the women involved were assessed for depression and anxiety during the pregnancy and birth of their children.

As per the results, 13 percent of women still experienced some sort of depression symptoms almost three years later. Around 19 percent of women who had two previous pregnancy losses were still depressed after 33 months.

“Health providers and women themselves think that once they have a healthy baby after a loss, all would be fine and that any anxiety, fears, or depression would go away, but that is simply not the case,” says study researcher Emma Robertson Blackmore, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “I honestly thought that once a woman had a baby or had gone past the stage of her previous loss, the anxiety and depression would go way, but these feelings persist.”

Still, doctors could not exactly identify why some women had lingering depression and others did not.

“It could be biological or that they are more resilient or maybe they have more peer support.” Blackmore said.

Above all else, the purpose of this research is making note of the problem.

“Identifying women at risk can help get them the help that they need,” Blackmore says.

“Don't assume having a healthy baby will resolve your previous anxiety and depression, and be on the lookout for signs,”

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