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Parents’ concerns about future pregnancy after stillbirth: a qualitative study

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posted on 2017-09-15, 08:30 authored by Sarah Meaney, Claire M. Everard, Stephen GallagherStephen Gallagher, Keelin O'Donoghue
Objectives: As stillbirth has a devastating impact, it is imperative to understand the importance of clinical and emotional care after stillbirth and how it influences subsequent pregnancies. The aim of the study was to gain insight into the consideration and planning of a subsequent pregnancy by parents in the weeks following stillbirth. Design: A qualitative semi-structured interview format was utilized. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was employed as the analytic strategy. Participants and setting: The recruitment strategy focused on couples whereby the parents of ten stillborn babies were contacted; however, five men declined to participate in the study. The final sample of 15 parents were all Irish: ten of whom were female and five of whom were male. Results: Findings revealed two superordinate themes relating to a subsequent pregnancy after stillbirth: aspirations for future pregnancy and expectations of future care. Parents disclosed how the prospect of a subsequent pregnancy was daunting with fears about the potential loss of another child. Despite these fears, parents’ aspirations differed in the days following stillbirth; mothers wished to plan a future pregnancy while fathers were reluctant to consider any pregnancies. Parents were unsure of what to expect in terms of the level of care that would be provided to them in a subsequent pregnancy. Additional appointments at the maternity hospital were considered crucial to provide reassurance during a subsequent pregnancy. Conclusions: These findings underscore the far-reaching and contrasting effects of stillbirth on parents. These complex needs highlight the importance of the multidisciplinary team approach.

History

Publication

Health Expectations;20, pp. 555–562

Publisher

John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Note

peer-reviewed

Language

English

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