University of Leicester
2022GarrodTPhd.pdf (1.73 MB)

Women’s lived experiences of maternity care in pregnancy after loss: A Heideggerian perspective.

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posted on 2022-02-17, 22:45 authored by Teresa Garrod
For some women, pregnancy loss is a traumatic event that can have far reaching effects. Whilst a new pregnancy may have external cause for celebration, the experience instead often re-ignites internal fear, guilt, anxiety, and grief. This paradox of emotions is carried through the current pregnancy, with long term consequences for these women’s emotional and psychological health. Meeting these needs in this subsequent pregnancy should be an essential component of providing quality maternity care, yet there is a lack of evidence in the UK to suggest that these needs are recognised or being met.
This thesis aimed to explore pregnant women’s experiences of maternity care in Lincolnshire following a previous pregnancy loss. Pregnancy loss in this thesis is defined as including miscarriage, abortion, stillbirth, and neonatal death. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used, underpinned by the philosophies of Heidegger. Thirteen in-depth interviews were conducted with seven women from Lincolnshire who were purposively recruited via social media and NHS hospital sites. Data analysis was undertaken using Moustakas’s interpretative framework.
Three interpretative themes were identified. The first two were framed using Heideggerian concepts which illuminated the women’s experiences of loss, despair, hope, fear, and adjustment through a temporal and attunement lens. The third theme highlighted the extremes of experiences of maternity care in the subsequent pregnancy in a maternity system that did not recognise their needs. As a whole, this thesis revealed that where awareness and understanding from maternity care professionals was perceived as lacking, then maternity care was experienced as suboptimal. As a result, implications for practice and research are significant. This thesis calls for providers of maternity care to broaden their package of care to recognise the distinct needs of women who are pregnant after loss, and to contribute to further research into how best these needs can be met.



Caroline Horton; Sue Becker; Jan Pascal; Graham Basten; Gianina Postavaru

Date of award


Author affiliation

Bishop Grosseteste University

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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