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Pregnancy gone wrong: Women's experiences of care in relation to coping with a medical complication in pregnancy

Objective: To understand the experiences of twelve New Zealand women with medical complications in pregnancy. Method: Inductive, semantic, qualitative analysis was employed to obtain an in-depth insight into the experience of having a medical complication during pregnancy. Semi-structured interviews were conducted face-to-face with twelve women. Six had been hospitalised during their pregnancy, while a further six were recruited from outpatient settings. Findings: Five themes were identified: pregnancy distressing and overshadowed by complications; unpredictability and the need for control; importance of the relationship with midwives; disempowerment in hospital; and lessons learnt on the importance of support. Key conclusions: Medical complications during pregnancy can be extremely stressful and women feel particularly vulnerable during this time. Midwives play a key role in supporting women through the process of coping with a pregnancy marked by illness and uncertainty. Implications for practice: Midwives can play a unique role in translating medical jargon and providing emotional guidance and support. A midwife who is engaged and responsive to a woman’s needs has the ability to lower distress at this critical juncture in the development of a woman and her family.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
Currie, J. C. H., & Barber, C. C. (2016). Pregnancy gone wrong: Women’s experiences of care in relation to coping with a medical complication in pregnancy. Journal of the New Zealand College of Midwives, (52), 35–40.
New Zealand College of Midwives
This article is published in the Journal of the New Zealand College of Midwives. Used with permission.