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When pregnancy fails: coping strategies, support networks and experiences with health care of ethnic women and their partners

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Experiencing a miscarriage can be a traumatic event for a woman and her partner. The couple's perceptions of the miscarriage may be influenced by many factors. These include their contact with health care professionals, family, friends, previous experiences, and possibly even their partner's expectations. This paper examines the experience of a miscarriage, reporting results from six women and their partners, all of whom were from ethnic backgrounds. A qualitative approach, employing an in-depth interview technique was utilized to obtain the data. The paper focuses on the coping strategies, social support and satisfaction with health care among the women and their partners. Factors such as treatment by medical personnel and family and friends were identified as either helping or hindering the experience. Coping with pregnancy loss depends on individual women and their partners, as each couple has different ways of dealing with it. However, a good support network and positive contacts with health care professionals also impact on how well the women and their partners are able to cope with the loss. This needs to be recognized when providing care to women who have experienced a miscarriage so that sensitive health care can be achieved.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Public Health, La Trobe University, Australia

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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