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Effects of Stressful Life Events on Maternal Outcomes

Women’s Health Issues; ePub 2016 Oct 31; Mukherjee, et al

Antenatal stressful life events (SLE) that can lead to adverse maternal and/or fetal outcomes are common in pregnant women in the US, suggesting the importance of screening for these SLEs and providing support, a recent study found. Data from the 2009 to 2011 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System were used and latent class analysis performed (n=115,704) to identify unobserved class membership. Researchers found:

  • A 3-class model was the most appropriate, with 64% in low-stress class.
  • The illness/death related-stress class (13%) had a high prevalence of illness (77%) and death (63%) of someone close or a family member.
  • Unmarried and women living in lowest poverty were, respectively, more and less likely to be in the multiple stressors class.
  • The highest prevalence of severe pregnancy-associated nausea/vomiting, preterm labor, and postpartum depression was in the multiple stress class.


Mukherjee S, Coxe S, Fennie K, Madhivanan P, Trepka MJ. Stressful life event experiences of pregnant women in the United States: A latent class analysis. [Published online ahead of print October 31, 2016]. Women’s Health Issues. doi:10.1016/j.whi.2016.09.007.