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Miscarriage twice as likely to cause mental health issues

A new study has shown women who experience the loss of a child through miscarriage or early in the child’s life are more than twice as likely to suffer from depression as those who did not

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh revealed that those who suffered the loss were more than one and a half more times more likely to experience anxiety than those who had not lost a baby before, during, or shortly after birth.

The data was drawn from 29 studies in 17 countries with analysis on data collected from more than one million women. The research was taken from studies published between January 1995 and March 2020 on how perinatal loss – the loss of a child during the period from conception through to 28 days post-delivery – affected common mental health outcomes such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress (PTS).

Other factors that may influence mental health outcomes, including the tope of loss, the stage of pregnancy, and factors such as income status, in which the country the mothers live, and their maternal age, the study showed.

Dr Angus MacBeth, of the School of Health in Social Science, said the study helps to map a link between miscarriage, perinatal loss, and mental health conditions.

He said: “The association between perinatal loss and elevated levels of anxiety and depression is consistent across loss types, comparison groups, and country income rankings. It provides further evidence for prioritising mental health following a loss.”

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