Pregnancy happiness: implications of prior loss and pregnancy intendedness

Stacy Tiemeyer, Karina Shreffler, Julia McQuillan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to examine the interaction between pregnancy loss and pregnancy intentions on women’s happiness about a subsequent pregnancy. Background: Anxiety about prior loss persist for women, even during subsequent pregnancies. It is unclear from prior research, whether a prior pregnancy loss shapes attitudes towards and feelings about a subsequent birth. Methods: Using data from the 2002–2013 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), we used logistic regression analyses to explore the implications of a prior pregnancy loss for happiness about a subsequent pregnancy that ends in a live birth. We compared births classified as on-time, mistimed, unwanted, and ambivalent. Results: Births were more likely to be characterised as on-time if they occurred following a pregnancy loss, and women were less likely to report being happy about a conception if they were ambivalent about the conception and experienced a previous loss. Overall, pregnancy loss alone was not associated with lower levels of happiness about a subsequent birth. Conclusions: Pregnancy loss can be a highly distressing experience, women’s happiness about a subsequent pregnancy is not reduced due to prior pregnancy loss. Future research should explore why women who were ambivalent about pregnancy reported lower levels of happiness following a loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-198
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • miscarriage
  • mother/s
  • pregnancy
  • psychosocial factors


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