Issues of perinatal loss and subsequent pregnancy addressed through specialized clinic

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Takeaway

  • Women find support during pregnancy after perinatal loss from a specialty clinic, the Pregnancy After Loss Clinic (PALC).

Why this matters

  • Pregnancy after loss is associated with increased anxiety, vigilance, and bonding issues.

Key results

  • Themes identified: overall experience, unique experience of pregnancy after perinatal loss, support from PALC, experiences of other services, recommendations for improvement, need for alternative services, advice mother to mother.
  • Overall, women felt positive about their PALC experience.
  • Women had anxiety, mixed emotions, anger, a reluctance to embrace the pregnancy, and guilt over pregnancy.
  • Women often expressed feeling compassion for other women who also experienced fetal loss.
  • Women felt a lack of support from family alone.
  • Women had positive feelings about seeing providers consistently who knew their history; they appreciated the regular contact and availability of the PALC team.
  • Women liked the validation they received.

Study design

  • Women with a history of perinatal loss who became pregnant were referred to the PALC, a specialized hospital-based clinic for women with a history of perinatal loss, at the Mater Mothers' Hospital (n=10).
  • Semi-structured interviews were used to gain data about their experiences.
  • Funding: The Mater Foundation.
Limitations
  • Small sample size.
  • No control group.
  • No evaluation of cost.