Renegotiating father’s identity following stillbirth: what and who am I?

Jones, Kerry (2017). Renegotiating father’s identity following stillbirth: what and who am I? In: Meeting abstracts from the International Stillbirth Alliance Conference 2017. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, Suppl 1 p. 5.



Aims: to report on the most recent research on men’s most recent experiences of grief and loss following stillbirth and neonatal death in high-income, Western countries (Europe, United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland and Australia).
Design: This review was guided by the following research questions: 1. The impact of perinatal death for men 2. The meaning of the loss on a father’s sense of identity 3. The extent to which men were able to express grief while supporting their partners and some of the ways in which men’s experience of grief was mediated by the support and care received by health professionals.
Data Sources: We searched the following databases: Medline; PsychINFO; CINAHL to identify relevant articles published from the year 2000 onwards.
Review methods. A scoping review was conducted of nursing, psychological, medical and social science databases using these key words: fathers’ grief, men’s grief, perinatal loss and death, stillbirth and neonatal death.
Results. Studies indicated that while men tended to report less intense and less enduring levels of psychological outcomes when compared to women, they are more likely to engage in avoidance and coping behaviours such as increased alcohol consumption. Men often felt that their role is primarily as a ‘supportive partner’ and that they were overlooked by health professionals.
Conclusions. Further research is needed on men’s experience of grief following stillbirth and neonatal death, focussing more on men’s physical as well as mental well-being.

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