Restrained Expectations in Late Pregnancy Following 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: Objective- To describe women’s late pregnancy after loss experiences (from 25 weeks gestation to birth), document the timing and frequency of their common discomforts and events, and explore changes in these experiences over time. Design- A longitudinal, qualitative study of pregnancy calendar entries and field notes. Setting- Prenatal care providers and community canvassing in Central New York and the Internet. Participants- Pregnant women (N= 69) with a history of perinatal loss. Main Outcome Measures- Women’s pregnancy calendar entries and field notes. Results- Thematic data analysis yielded two main themes and several subthemes: (a) Precarious Pregnancy Security with subthemes of Informed Awareness and Varying Emotions and (b) Prudent Baby Preparations with subthemes of Physical, Social, and Emotional Preparation. Conclusion- Women reported an increased sense of security about the pregnancy and baby over time but this security was easily shaken. For women with a history of later or multiple loss, anxiety may remain high or increase as the due date approaches. Fetal movement is the most common barometer of fetal well-being during this part of pregnancy. With a better understanding of pregnancy after loss, clinicians can have a positive impact on women’s prenatal experiences.

Additional Information

Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 36, 550-557
Language: English
Date: 2007
calendar, miscarriage, perinatal loss, pregnancy, stillbirth

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