DOI: 10.1177/10748407231213085 ISSN: 1074-8407

Lived Experience of the Dyad and Their Relationships Following a Fetal Death: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Study

Mary Rose McDonough, Danielle Leone-Sheehan
  • Family Practice
  • Community and Home Care

Little is known about the lived experience of the dyad following a fetal death and the impact on relationships. The purpose of this paper is to explore the dyadic relationship between partners, with health care providers, and with the baby’s memory after birth. This qualitative study utilized hermeneutic phenomenology. The sample included 10 heterosexual dyads from the United States and Canada. All experienced a fetal death between 6 months and 7 years prior to their interviews. The data revealed three themes: (a) The Dyad Relationship: Moving Through the Experience Together; (b) Keeping the Memory Alive: Memorializing the Baby; and (c) Relationships With Health Care Providers: A Spectrum of Caring. The findings from this study provide the beginning knowledge needed to improve the care of dyads who have experienced a fetal death and for future studies to improve care delivery for dyads as their relationships change after fetal death.

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