If you’ve lost a pregnancy, or been close to someone who has, you know that the loss leaves a hole in your life that can’t be filled by anyone else. If you’re blessed to have a healthy baby after a miscarriage, that baby brings its own joy. It doesn’t make the grief magically vanish.
A new study backs this up, finding that women who’ve lost a pregnancy are more prone to depression and anxiety for years after the miscarriage. This remains true even if they go on to have healthy babies.
The British study tracked over 13,000 women pregnant women, 20 % of whom had experienced at least one miscarriage. They found that women who had lost a pregnancy were significantly more likely to be depressed than those who had not. Nearly 13% of women who had lost a pregnancy still had symptoms of depression 33 months later. The effects were compounded if a woman had lost two or more pregnancies.
According to Time, the findings are clinically important. Doctors and caregivers will flag women for possible post-partum mood issues if the woman presents with a history of depression or anxiety. Now, they can add having previously experienced a miscarriage to the list of red flags that might signal increased risk for post-partum depression.