How to Help Reduce Levels of Stress for Patients with Recurrent Pregnancy Loss (RPL)
Dealing with recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) has a significant impact on mental and emotional wellbeing. It is well-established that patients dealing with RPL are at a higher risk for experiencing depression and/or anxiety. It is just as important that patients are provided with the appropriate care to help them support fertility and reduce risk of miscarriage as it is to help them support their mental and overall wellbeing.
A new research paper published in the Reproductive BioMedicine Online (RBMO) journal evaluated for the impact of mindfulness and meditation, along with group sessions, for 7 weeks had on perceived stress scores (PSS). After the 7-week intervention, it was observed that the patients had about a 25% reduction in perceived stress scores (the score went from 20 to 15 after the 7 weeks), and the changes were statistically significant.
After 12 months, patients had an average score of 14 on the PSS, 30% lower from their baseline scores a year ago.
Meditation and mindfulness have also been used in different populations and have been found to help reduce risk of major depressive disorder (MDD) relapse and may help to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
Considering the relative low-risk of harm, interventions like mindfulness based mediation should be discussed with your healthcare provider if this would be an appropriate intervention for you to add to your treatment plan. There are a variety of apps and programs available on demand for patients to access to help facilitate an introduction to mindfulness and meditation.
A useful breathing technique to help center the mind that has been studied is the Box Breathing technique.
Jensen, K. H., Krog, M. C., Koert, E., Hedegaard, S., Chonovitsch, M., Schmidt, L., Kolte, A. M., & Nielsen, H. S. (2021). Meditation and mindfulness reduce perceived stress in women with recurrent pregnancy loss: A randomized controlled trial. Reproductive BioMedicine Online, 43(2), 246–256.