Views of Chinese women with perinatal loss on seeing and holding the baby Abstract

Kit-Ying WONG, Ngan-Chi NG
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Hong Kong
 
 

Objective: To explore the views of Hong Kong Chinese women who experienced perinatal loss on seeing and holding the baby and on commemoration.
Methods: Chinese women who had experienced second-trimester miscarriage, termination of pregnancy for fetal anomaly (TOPFA), stillbirth, or neonatal death within 5 years and had been under the care of the Grief Counselling and Support Team in a regional hospital in Hong Kong were recruited to complete a questionnaire through telephone interview or self-administration between May and December 2019.
Results: Of 56 women recruited, 51 (91%) with a mean age of 35 years completed the questionnaire through self administration (n=26) or telephone interview (n=25). The cause of perinatal loss included second trimester miscarriage (n=14), TOPFA (n=23), stillbirth (n=7), and neonatal death (n=7). The mean gestation was 22 (range, 14-38) weeks. The mean time from perinatal loss to survey was about 30 (range, 1-47) weeks. 52.9% of the participants were primiparous, and 45.1% had a living child. 33.3% of participants had a history of perinatal loss. 36 (70.6%) participants reported to have seen and 30 (58.8%) reported to have held, touched, or kissed the baby. Six themes were identified from the experience of seeing and holding the baby: natural experience: inborn parenthood, positive feeling in the traumatic life event, negative emotions, sense of relief, avoiding regret, and psychological preparation matters. All participants who had seen and held her baby did not regret their choice. However, among the 21 participants who did not see and/or hold the baby, five (23.8%) regretted. 44 (86.3%) participants had commemorated the baby; 54.5% of them were guided by midwives/nurses.
Conclusion: The current study helps healthcare providers to better understand Hong Kong Chinese women’s views and experience on seeing and holding the baby, and to guide them to provide better bereavement care in a more culturally sensitive manner.
 
Hong Kong J Gynaecol Obstet Midwifery 2021; 21(1):23–8
 
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