Researchers in Brazil recently tested several psychological intervention techniques to reduce stress and anxiety in pregnant women with known fetal malformations. Sixty-five women were included in the study. The women were placed in four groups - NP (normal pregnancy), FM (fetal malformation), FD (fetal death) or CG (control group). All groups, aside from the CG, received psychological care, including support, education, and empathy.

Researchers noted significant reductions in anxiety and stress in the normal pregnancy and fetal malformation groups. No reduction was mentioned in the fetal death group.

Conclusion: Pregnant woman may benefit from psychological intervention when dealing with news of fetal malformation. Anxiety and depression, two common issues, may be reduced with multilevel psychological care.

Source: Gorayeb RP, Gorayeb R, Berezowski AT, Duarte G. Effectiveness of psychological intervention for treating symptoms of anxiety and depression among pregnant women diagnosed with fetal malformation. Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2013 Mar 8. pii: S0020-7292(13)00049-0. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.12.013.