Pregnancy after miscarriage in primiparae and multiparae: implications for women's psychological well-being

J Reprod Infant Psychol. 2021 Sep;39(4):371-381. doi: 10.1080/02646838.2020.1728524. Epub 2020 Feb 16.


Introduction: Miscarriage is a stressful life event with negative consequences that can last into the subsequent gestation, increasing women's risk for psychological symptoms. Less clear in literature is whether having a living child may buffer the psychological impact of miscarriage on subsequent pregnancies.Objective: explore levels of depression, anxiety and fear of delivery in women with and without a previous miscarriage, taking into consideration the presence of a living child.Method: 208 women (M = 34.68) were recruited during the third trimester of gestation. The sample was composed of 159 women without a previous miscarriage (72.3% primiparae and 27.7% multiparae) and 49 women with a history of miscarriage (53.1% primiparae and 46.9% multiparae). Participants filled out a battery of questionnaires aimed at assessing anxiety, depression, and fear of delivery.Results: Primiparae reported higher levels of fear of childbirth than multiparae. Moreover, women without a history of previous perinatal loss showed lower levels of depression and fear of childbirth than women with a previous perinatal loss.Conclusions: Data highlight the importance of developing specific support groups, for primiparae, due to their great emotional vulnerability, and for women with past miscarriage, to help them cope in adaptive ways with a new pregnancy.

Keywords: Miscarriage; delivery expectancy; depression; multiparae; primiparae.

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous*
  • Anxiety
  • Child
  • Fear
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Parturition
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Third