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Title: Parental perspectives on grief and loss following stillbirth and neonatal death
Author: Jones, Kerry Sian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2697 4217
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2010
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This research explores men and women's experience of grief and loss following stillbirth and neonatal death. Utilising existing literature and empirical research with twenty-seven bereaved parents, I argue that stillbirth and neonatal death represents a tragedy to these men and women, yet, its impact has been sequestered both practically and theoretically by medical and psychological and other scholarly discourses of bereavement. Such notions of grief are characterised by their rationality and represented as a series of stages, each comprising of tasks and goals for the bereaved to work through. The data collected about experiences of loss suggests that a way of understanding the impact of such deaths must go beyond professional approaches to grief and instead focus upon the way men and women narrate their experience. I suggest that the meaning given to the experience of loss can be deconstructed by taking account of the varying forms of expressing such experience (such as writing, talking, art, poetry). I demonstrate that men and women experience not only the emotional pain of loss but also struggle with their embodied identity as a parent. I argue that this is mediated by the social networks to which bereaved parents belong and according to the dominant discourses (such as medicine and expected notions of motherhood and fatherhood) and wider political and social structures (such as employment) to which bereaved parents' relate. These findings constitute an understanding of loss which reflects and conflicts with the findings of other research. In so doing, this study contributes to more succinct knowledge concerning perinatal loss, embodied lived experiences and women as well as men's accounts which I argue is overlooked in the literature. The thesis concludes with policy recommendations which include ongoing bereavement training for health professionals, the development of specialist bereavement midwives and for the provision of care which reflects bereaved parent's gendered socio economic and cultural needs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available