Self-compassion and Mental Health in Australian Women Who Have Experienced Pregnancy Loss

Publication Name

Illness Crisis and Loss


Mental health challenges are common during the perinatal period, particularly following pregnancy loss. This longitudinal study investigates the role of self-compassion in the mental health of perinatal women having previously experienced (n = 45) or not having experienced (n = 123) pregnancy loss. Archival data was utilised to compare levels of perinatal depression, psychological distress, and self-compassion for women receiving psychological therapy at session one and session six. Results indicated that both participant groups reported similar levels on all variables at baseline. There were significant increases in self-compassion and decreases in perinatal depression and psychological distress after six sessions of therapy for both groups. A regression showed changes in self-compassion following six sessions of therapy was predictive of psychological distress, particularly for women who reported pregnancy loss. Self-compassion may represent a viable intervention for psychological distress in a perinatal population particularly following pregnancy loss.

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