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

Meredith, Pamela, Wilson, Trish, Branjerdporn, Grace, Strong, Jenny and Desha, Laura (2017) "Not just a normal mum": a qualitative investigation of a support service for women who are pregnant subsequent to perinatal loss. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 17 1: 6. doi:10.1186/s12884-016-1200-9


Author Meredith, Pamela
Wilson, Trish
Branjerdporn, Grace
Strong, Jenny
Desha, Laura
Title "Not just a normal mum": a qualitative investigation of a support service for women who are pregnant subsequent to perinatal loss
Journal name BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-2393
Publication date 2017-01-05
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/s12884-016-1200-9
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 17
Issue 1
Start page 6
Total pages 12
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Subject 2729 Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Abstract 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.
Formatted abstract
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.
Keyword Bereavement
Birth
Midwifery
Perinatal loss
Qualitative research
Service evaluation
Subsequent pregnancy
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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