Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Murphy, MM
International Confederation of Midwives 30th Triennial Congress
Integrative literature review of women's experiences of subsequent pregnancy following stillbirth
Prague, Czech Republic
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Background: Notwithstanding advances in maternity care, babies die around the time of their birth and the reasons can be varied (National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre 2010). Annual perinatal statistics reveal that there is an average of 350 stillborn infants in the Republic of Ireland (Stillbirth rate of 4.8 per 1,000 births) (NPEC 2010). These figures also show 2% of multiparous women record a history of previous stillbirths. There are health services implications in supporting these women in their subsequent services can be tailored to best suit their needs rather than providing a universal care approach. Objective: Methods: A systematic search strategy was conducted to include relevant studies. Main Results: A total of 22 (10 quantitative, 1 mixed methods and 11 qualitative studies) studies met the inclusion criteria. The themes that emerged from the quantitative studies were on-going mental health considerations for women including depression; prolonged grief; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Coping, Fear and Anxiety in Subsequent pregnancy. The themes that emerged from the qualitative studies included fear, anxiety and grief during the subsequent pregnancy; restrained expectations or intentionality of parenting and care issues in subsequent pregnancies. Conclusion: Women are aware that their perceptions of pregnancy are forever altered by their experiences of stillbirth and that this may result in hyper-vigilance and emotional distancing or conversely intentional parenting of their unborn child. Women who utilised additional support measures found them to be beneficial. Implications for Practice: Healthcare professionals need to be aware of the importance of empathetic, supportive, continuous midwifery care, as women may need to address and relinquish existing coping mechanisms in order to interact with their new pregnancy.