The bloom is (slightly) off the rose: the motherhood effect on psychological functioning in successive pregnancies

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Objective: To examine the maternal psychological state during the course of two successive pregnancies. Methods: The sample consisted of 73 women drawn from a larger maternal–fetal cohort that participated during two pregnancies. Women completed self-report psychological questionnaires at 24, 30, and 36 weeks gestation to index maternal depressive symptoms, trait anxiety, and pregnancy hassles and uplifts. Analyses examined stability of maternal symptoms across successive pregnancies in the same women. Results: Antenatal symptoms of depression and anxiety exhibited strong intra-individual stability between successive pregnancies. Mean differences in maternal symptoms were not detected for either at 24, 30, or 36 weeks gestation, excepting elevated anxiety symptoms at the mid-point due to greater fluctuation in maternal anxiety during the prior pregnancy. Subsequent pregnancies were associated with less intense uplifting feelings about the pregnancy on each measurement occasion. Conclusions: Findings suggest marked consistency in maternal psychological orientation across subsequent pregnancies, though parity also plays a role in the maternal experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020


  • Prenatal mental health
  • prenatal anxiety
  • prenatal depression
  • prenatal well-being
  • successive pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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