We examined the short-term effect of severe maternal psychological distress on the placental circulation in second trimester in a prospective observational study. In 86 pregnant women with a newly detected fetal malformation, and 98 women with normal ultrasound findings, distress was assessed using the Impact of Event Scale and the General Health Questionnaire-28. Uterine and umbilical artery pulsatility indices, notching and heart rates were measured by Doppler ultrasound. Psychological distress was high in the anomaly group, but circulatory outcome measures did not differ between groups. Multiple regression analyses did not show an increase in circulatory resistance measures even at high distress levels.