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Effects of contact with stillborn babies on maternal anxiety and depression
Arizona State University, United States .
Mälardalen University, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare.
Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
2008 (English)In: Birth, ISSN 0730-7659, E-ISSN 1523-536X, Vol. 35, no 4, p. 313-320Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Some guidelines encourage mothers to see and hold their babies after stillbirth, which might be traumatizing. The study objective was to investigate the effects of women seeing and holding their stillborn baby on the risk of anxiety and depression in a subsequent pregnancy and in the long term. METHODS: Thirty-seven organizations recruited women who had experienced stillbirth (N = 2,292 of whom 286 reported being pregnant). Anxiety and depressive symptoms were assessed by using the 25-item Hopkins Symptom Check List. RESULTS: Among nonpregnant women, seeing and holding their stillborn baby were associated with lower anxiety symptoms (OR 0.68, 95% CI 0.49-0.95) and a tendency toward fewer symptoms of depression (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.51-1.02), compared with pregnant women. Participants who were pregnant also had less depressive symptomatology (OR 0.57, 95% CI 0.43-0.75), but more symptoms of anxiety if they had seen and held their baby (OR 3.79, 95% CI 1.42-10.1). CONCLUSIONS: Seeing and holding the baby are associated with fewer anxiety and depressive symptoms among mothers of stillborn babies than not doing so, although this beneficial effect may be temporarily reversed during a subsequent pregnancy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 35, no 4, p. 313-320
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-5017DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-536X.2008.00258.xISI: 000261054600008PubMedID: 19036044Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-56549121863OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-5017DiVA, id: diva2:159828
Available from: 2009-02-10 Created: 2009-02-10 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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