Background: Many women may suffer psychological symptoms after stillbirth and in the subsequent pregnancy. Stillbirth has not been demonstrated previously to be a stressor for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Aims: To assess incidence, correlates and predictors of PTSD during and after the pregnancy following stillbirth.
Method: A cohort study of pregnant women whose previous pregnancy ended in stillbirth.
Results: PTSD symptoms were prevalent in the pregnancy following stillbirth. Case-level PTSD was associated with depression, state-anxiety and conception occurring closer to loss. Symptoms generally resolved naturally by 1 year post-partum (birth of healthy baby).
Conclusions: Women are vulnerable to PTSD in the pregnancy subsequent to stillbirth, particularly when conception occurs soon after the loss.