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Irish Child Health Database - Peer Reviewed Papers

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  • Perinatal Loss: A Qualitative Study in Northern Ireland

    Published in:

    Omega: Journal of Death & Dying, Vol: 57, Page: 1-19,Baywood Publishing Company, Inc.

    Publication Date:


    Aims & Objectives:

    This study describes the experiences of women in Northern Ireland who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth.


    This article describes the experiences of women in Northern Ireland who have experienced a miscarriage or stillbirth. Pregnancy loss encompasses several dimensions of loss for women, loss of the future, loss of self-identity, and the loss of anticipated parenthood. The study explored how women emotionally responded to loss and the care they received from medical staff. Burial arrangements for the remains of the baby are also explored. The methodology adopted a narrative approach based upon in-depth interviews with 23 women who attended pregnancy loss self-help groups. The women's narratives highlight their emotional responses to loss, the medicalization of perinatal grief, and burial arrangements. Women felt that their experience was emotionally negative in that they had been subjected to a rationalizing process of medicalization. The primary focus for the women was on the need to recover space for their emotions and seek acceptance and recognition of the validity of their grief. The study demonstrated that the women's response to being marginalized led them to make sense of their experiences and to create spaces of resistance to medicalization. The way in which women placed emotion at the center of their narratives is taken to be a powerful indicator that the support they require from professionals should take account of the meanings they have constructed from their experience of loss. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR] Copyright of Omega: Journal of Death & Dying is the property of Baywood Publishing Company, Inc. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)


    Bernadette Susan McCreight

    Study Type:

    Study Papers » Qualitative Study » Qualitative Studies


    Article 00302228 Accession Number: 31924057; McCreight, Bernadette Susan 1; Email Address:; Affiliations: 1: University of Ulster, School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies, Shore Road Room 12L15, Newtownabbey, CO. ANTRIM, BT37 0QB, Northern Ireland Source Info: 2008, Vol. 57 Issue 1, p1; Thesaurus Term: PERINATAL death; Thesaurus Term: PREGNANCY; Thesaurus Term: SELF-help groups; Thesaurus Term: WOMEN; Thesaurus Term: QUALITATIVE research; Subject Term: MISCARRIAGE; Subject Term: STILLBIRTH; Subject Term: FETAL death; Subject Term: NORTHERN Ireland; Number of Pages: 19p. Document Type: Article


    miscarriage or stillbirth

    International Classification:

    Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium-



    Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland)