Effect of previous miscarriage on the maternal birth experience in the first baby study

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine whether a history of miscarriage is related to birth experience and/or maternal fear of an adverse birth outcome for self or infant during a subsequent delivery. Design: Secondary analysis of a prospective cohort study, the First Baby Study. Sample: Women age 18 to 35 who were expecting to deliver their first live-born infants in Pennsylvania between January 2009 and April 2011. Participants: Four hundred fifty-three pregnant women who reported perinatal loss prior to 20 weeks gestation (miscarriage) in a previous pregnancy and 2401 pregnant women without a history of miscarriage were interviewed during pregnancy and again one month after their first live birth. Methods: Maternal birth experience and fear of an adverse birth outcome measured via telephone interview were compared across groups. Results: Maternal birth experience scores did not significantly differ between women with and without previous miscarriage. Women with a history of miscarriage reported that they feared an adverse birth outcome for themselves or their infants more frequently than women without a history of miscarriage (52.1% vs. 46.6%; p = .033), however, this relationship was not significant after adjustment for confounders. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that there is no association between miscarriage history and birth experience. Additional research on this topic would be beneficial including an in-depth examination of fear of adverse outcome during birth. However, nurses and midwives may consider using therapeutic communication techniques to ensure that women with a history of miscarriage receive strong emotional support and reassurance during birth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-450
Number of pages9
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics
  • Critical Care
  • Maternity and Midwifery

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