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"Not just a normal mum": A qualitative investigation of a support service for women who are pregnant subsequent to perinatal loss

journal contribution
posted on 17.04.2018, 00:00 authored by Pamela Meredith, T Wilson, G Branjerdporn, J Strong, L Desha
© 2017 The Author(s). Background: Following previous perinatal loss, women in a subsequent pregnancy may experience heightened emotions, such as anxiety and fear, with a range of longer-term implications. To support these women, the Mater Mothers' Bereavement Support Service in Brisbane, Australia, developed a Pregnancy After Loss Clinic (PALC) as a specialised hospital-based service. The present study investigated the experiences of mothers with previous perinatal loss in relation to: (a) their subsequent pregnancy-to-birth journey, and (b) the PALC service. Such research seeks to inform the ongoing development of effective perinatal services. Method: A qualitative interview-based research design was employed with a purposive sample of 10 mothers who had previously experienced perinatal loss and who attended the Mater Mothers' PALC during their subsequent pregnancy in 2015. All mothers had subsequently delivered a live baby and were in a relationship with the father of the new baby. Women were aged between 22 and 39 years, primiparous or multiparous, and from a range of cultural backgrounds. Semi-structured interviews, conducted either at the hospital or by telephone by an experienced, independent researcher, lasted between 20 min and one hour. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim, with participant names changed. Interviews were analysed using content analysis by two researchers who were not involved in the service delivery or data gathering process. Results: Seven themes were identified from the interview material: The overall experience, The unique experience of first pregnancy after loss, Support from PALC, Experiences of other services, Recommendations for PALC services, Need for alternative services, and Advice: Mother to mother. Conclusions: Participants spoke positively of the PALC services for themselves and their families. Anxieties over their subsequent pregnancy, and the desire for other health professionals to be more understanding were frequently raised. Recommendations were made to extend the PALC service and to develop similar services to support access for other families experiencing perinatal loss.

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Volume

17

Issue

6

Start Page

1

End Page

12

Number of Pages

12

eISSN

1471-2393

Additional Rights

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

Acceptance Date

16/12/2016

External Author Affiliations

University of Queensland, Mater Mothers Hospital

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth