Brittany Booth, M.D., of CalPsychiatry was recently interviewed by Fatherly.com for their article "Can Stress Cause Miscarriage? A Physician Explains."
Miscarriage is not an infrequent occurrence — approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. The trauma, grief and anxiety around this possibility can result in parents ruminating on what they did “wrong.” Dr. Booth spoke with Elizabeth Hlavinka of Fatherly.com to explore whether or not there is any correlation between miscarriage and the level of stress a pregnant woman is experiencing.
“One 2017 meta-analysis found women who had a history of psychological stress — including financial or marital problems, abuse, or emotional trauma — had about a 40% higher chance of having a miscarriage compared to women who did not. However, the study’s findings should be interpreted cautiously, Booth says. Because pregnant people were asked about their stress levels after-the-fact, there may be some recall bias at play.
“‘Miscarriage itself is a very stressful event,’ Booth says. ‘There’s potentially more stress being reported that’s maybe leading into the stress from the miscarriage rather than leading up to the miscarriage.'”