“The influence of prior perinatal loss on the parents’ psychological distress after the birth of a subsequent healthy infant.”

This study out of the University of Louisville reports that levels of anxiety and depression dropped for parents who gave birth to a healthy baby after a previous loss, however levels of posttraumatic stress remained relatively high, even 8 months later. The researchers to point out that the study does not compare results with parents who did not experience a loss.

Clinician Note: A previous loss may be associated with some degree of psychological distress many months after the birth of a subsequent healthy baby. Sometimes, parents and clinicians alike are surprised at the presence of symptoms long after a previous loss. It is, again, a time when most think they “should” be joyful. Be aware of lingering symptoms of PTSD.

Citation: J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2009 Nov-Dec;38(6):654-66.

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