Emotional cushioning in pregnancy after perinatal 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: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Women pregnant again after prior perinatal loss fear another loss and thus protect their emotions and avoid prenatal bonding. This phenomenon, emotional cushioning, appears to be a complex self-protective mechanism and is proposed here as a unique combination of circumstances and responses used by women to cope with the anxiety, uncertainty, and sense of vulnerability experienced in these subsequent pregnancies. Related literature is reviewed to clarify and circumscribe what emotional cushioning is. In this mixed-methods study, a convenience sample of women pregnant after perinatal loss (N=63) completed the Pregnancy Anxiety Scale during and following pregnancy and responded to questions regarding ‘holding back their emotions’ in pregnancy. The purpose was to describe the range and prevalence of emotional cushioning, to compare pre- and post-natal reports of emotional cushioning, and to examine relationships between emotional cushioning and pregnancy anxiety pre- and post-natally. The majority of women (58.7%) reported some emotional cushioning. Emotional cushioning questions were significantly and positively correlated with pregnancy anxiety. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

Additional Information

Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 29(1), 81-92
Language: English
Date: 2011
pregnancy, miscarriage, attachment, qualitative methods, quantitative methods

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