Shrouds of silence: three women's stories of prenatal loss
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Objective: To give voice to the experiences of women who have suffered a prenatal loss prior to a full term pregnancy. Design: A descriptive, exploratory qualitative study using mini-biographies was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with women to record their experiences and stories. Interviews were transcribed and the patterns that emerged from the data were identified and themes generated. Subjects: The mini-biographical stories of three women were gathered. Interviews occurred in the women's homes. The women were recruited through an advertisement in the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Support (SANDS) newsletter. Results: The stories revealed the tragedy, pain and silence endured by these women, as they live with loss and grief. Common themes emerged from their stories highlighting grief, isolation, anger and self-blame in the face of their loss and subsequent full term pregnancy. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: The emergent theme suggests that further research needs to explore how society and the health care community may compound women's grief and isolation and in-turn perpetuate their feelings of anger. In telling their stories, these women give voice to their experiences and offer a number of insights into how current health care practices may be modified to better support the needs of women who have suffered a prenatal loss and also points to the need for further research. Specifically, the study identifies a need for nurses and midwives to offer sensitive care, acknowledgment of previous loss and supportive counseling strategies for women following prenatal loss and during antenatal care for subsequent pregnancies.
Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing
Copyright 2006 Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.