Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 391–400 | Cite as

Effect of Previous Miscarriage on Depressive Symptoms During Subsequent Pregnancy and Postpartum in the First Baby Study

  • Cara Bicking Kinsey
  • Kesha Baptiste-Roberts
  • Junjia Zhu
  • Kristen H. Kjerulff


Our objective was to test the hypothesis that nulliparous women with a history of miscarriage have an increased risk of depression during late pregnancy, and at 1, 6, and 12 months postpartum compared to women without a history of miscarriage. We conducted secondary analysis of a longitudinal cohort study, the First Baby Study, and compared 448 pregnant women with a history of miscarriage to 2,343 pregnant women without a history of miscarriage on risk of probable depression (score >12 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale). Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios at each time point and generalized estimating equations were used to obtain estimates in longitudinal analysis. Women with a history of miscarriage were not more likely than woman without a history of miscarriage to score in the probable depression range during the third trimester or at 6 or 12 months postpartum but were more likely at 1 month postpartum, after adjustment for sociodemographic factors (OR 1.66, 95 % CI 1.03–2.69). Women with a history of miscarriage may be more vulnerable to depression during the first month postpartum than women without prior miscarriage, but this effect does not appear to persist beyond this time period. We support the promotion of awareness surrounding this issue and recommend that research is planned to identify risk factors that may position a woman with a history of miscarriage to be at higher risk for depression.


Perinatal loss Perinatal depression Pregnancy Postpartum depression Miscarriage 



This study was funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (R01 HD052990). KHK is the principal investigator for this award. CBK was also supported by a fellowship from the National Institute for Nursing Research (F31 NR013303) and by the Eastern Nursing Research Society and the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cara Bicking Kinsey
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kesha Baptiste-Roberts
    • 1
    • 2
  • Junjia Zhu
    • 2
  • Kristen H. Kjerulff
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.College of NursingThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public Health ScienceThe Pennsylvania State University College of MedicineHersheyUSA
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyThe Pennsylvania State University College of MedicineHersheyUSA

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