Support Groups Helping Women Through Pregnancies after Loss

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Denise Côté-Arsenault, Professor; Department Chair (Parent & Child Nursing) (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Pregnancies following perinatal loss are full of fears and anxieties. Standards of care or interventions are not generally available, however support groups exist across the country. This study explored several pregnancy-after-loss support groups. Data were collected through participant observation of meetings, individual interviews, questionnaires, and artifacts. Five paradoxes were identified reflecting conflicts between common cultural expectations and the women’s own perspectives about pregnancy: birth/death, pregnancy equals/does not equal baby, head/heart, public/private, and hope/fear. According to participants, the groups helped members recognize their commonalities, remember their earlier babies who died, develop caring relationships, and learn new coping skills. Key outcomes included “making it through” their pregnancies, finding ways to reconcile the cultural paradoxes, and relating better with their current, live babies.

Additional Information

Western Journal of Nursing Research, 26(6), 650-670
Language: English
Date: 2004
pregnancy after loss, perinatal loss, focused ethnography, support groups

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