Hope for the best …but expect the worst: a qualitative study to explore how women with recurrent miscarriage experience the early waiting period of a new pregnancy.BMJ Open. 2019 06 01; 9(5):e029354.BO
To investigate how women experience the initial period of a new pregnancy after suffering recurrent miscarriage (RM).
A qualitative study, nested within a randomised controlled feasibility study of a coping intervention for RM, used semi-structured face-to-face interviews. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic network approach.
Participants were recruited from the Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic and Early Pregnancy Unit in two tertiary referral hospitals in the UK.
14 women with RMs and who had previously participated in the randomised controlled trial (RCT) feasibility component of the study were recruited.
Seven organising themes emerged from the data: (1) turmoil of emotions, (2) preparing for the worst, (3) setting of personal milestones, (4) hypervigilance, (5) social isolation, (6) adoption of pragmatic approaches, (7) need for professional affirmation.
The study established that for women with a history of RM, the waiting period of a new pregnancy is a traumatic time of great uncertainty and emotional turmoil and one in which they express a need for emotional support. Consideration should be given to the manner in which supportive care is best delivered within the constraints of current health service provision.
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