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Keywords:

  • miscarriage;
  • pregnancy;
  • anxiety;
  • prenatal stress;
  • perinatal loss

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to examine patterns of state anxiety and pregnancy-specific distress across pregnancy in a diverse sample of women with (n = 113) and without (n = 250) prior miscarriage. For both groups, state anxiety and pregnancy-specific distress were highest in the first trimester and decreased significantly over the course of pregnancy. Compared to women without prior miscarriage, women with prior miscarriage experienced greater state anxiety in the second and third trimesters. Having a living child did not buffer state anxiety in women with a prior miscarriage. Attention to patterns of distress can contribute to delivery of appropriate support resources to women experiencing pregnancy after miscarriage and may help reduce risk for stress-related outcomes. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 33:316–328, 2010