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Being alone in silence - Mothers' experiences upon confirmation of their baby's death in utero
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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2014 (English)In: Midwifery, ISSN 0266-6138, E-ISSN 1532-3099, Vol. 30, no 3, E91-E95 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: to explore mothers' experiences of the confirmation of ultrasound examination results and how they were told that their baby had died in-utero. Design: in-depth interviews. Setting: Sweden. Participants: 26 mothers of stillborn babies. Measurement: narratives were analysed using a qualitative content analysis with an inductive approach. Findings: the mothers experienced that silence prevailed during the entire process of confirming the ultrasound results. Typically all present in the ultrasound room were concentrating and focusing on what they observed on the screen, no one spoke to the mother. The mothers had an instinctive feeling that their baby might be dead based on what they observed on the ultrasound screen and on their interpretation of the body language of the clinicians and midwives. Some mothers reported a time delay in receiving information about their baby's death. Experiencing uncertainty about the information received was also noticed. Conclusion: mothers emphasised an awareness of silence and feelings of being completely alone while being told of the baby's death. Implication for practice: the prevalence of silence during an ultrasound examination may in certain cases cause further psychological trauma for the mother of a stillborn baby. One way to move forward given these results may be to provide obstetric personnel sufficient training on how difficult information might be more effectively and sensitively provided in the face of an adverse pregnancy outcome. (c) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 30, no 3, E91-E95 p.
Keyword [en]
Stillbirth, Intrauterine death, Ultrasound, Information
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-222937DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2013.10.021ISI: 000332396100007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-222937DiVA: diva2:712985
Available from: 2014-04-17 Created: 2014-04-15 Last updated: 2014-04-17Bibliographically approved

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Malm, Mari-Cristin
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