The meaning of miscarriage. A study of the perceptions about miscarriage, in comparison to other types of loss

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Monaghan, Valerie
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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It is reported that one out of every four women experience miscarriage. Literature reports that many who have experienced such a loss felt the need to speak about their loss in order to move on through their grief. These people also felt that this was a time when support was required. Yet, these individuals also reported that there was often silence surrounding this event. This study attempted to compare society's views about miscarriage against those about another type of loss, namely the death of a spouse in order to ascertain if miscarriage was also viewed as a loss, and to determine what the perceptions are concerning the levels of emotions expected after miscarriage, and the expected impact this event would have on an individual. Results indicated that although miscarriage was also viewed as a loss that required mourning, the level of emotions expected were less severe than those associated with spousal loss. In addition, the expected impact of the event included more avoidance thoughts and behaviours for those who had experienced miscarriage. Analysis of the questionnaires of 6 participants who had experienced miscarriage, provided varied results, however significantly, 50% of these people reported that they often avoided thinking or talking about the event, and often avoided dealing with their feelings. Further research is however required in order to check if there is a correlation between such avoidance and the reported silences.