Exploring Narratives of Pregnancy Loss: the role of self-help groups in supporting parents

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Abstract

This paper presents findings from research carried out in Northern Ireland on the experiences of parents who have lost a baby through stillbirth or miscarriage. The research was based on interviews and group observations with men and women who were members of pregnancy loss self-help groups. The paper will draw on an interpretative perspective based on Habermas’s (1987) theory of communicative action to explore the ways in which membership of self-help groups enabled parents to cope with the pain of personal grief after a pregnancy loss. It was found that self-help groups provided a supportive communicative forum in which grieving parents could share their own stories and find support within a community of peers. These findings have clear implications for those working with and through self-help groups, and who are concerned to ensure the efficacy of the limited resources available for this kind of support.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherBritish Sociological Association
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • Narrative / Pregnancy loss / Self-help Groups / Life-worlds

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