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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910

Abstract

SANTOS, Alba Lúcia Dias dos; ROSENBURG, Cornélio Pedroso  and  BURALLI, Keiko Ogura. Histories of fetal losses told by women: research qualitative study. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.2, pp. 268-276. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102004000200017.

OBJECTIVE: To recognize the significance of fetal loss for women who have experienced it, starting from an understanding of the pregnancy process, based on their reports. METHODS: This was a qualitative analysis study based on the histories of seven women who experienced fetal loss in the town of Arujá, State of São Paulo, between July 1998 and June 1999. The women were identified from the death certificates of stillborn infants born within the study period, which were obtained from the Civil Registry Office of Arujá. The methodological procedures involved the utilization of the techniques of oral history-taking to gather data and content analysis to evaluate the material collected. The interviews were recorded, fully transcribed and subsequently prepared for analysis. RESULTS: The findings were analyzed as two points: the circumstantial context of the pregnancy and the impact after the loss, with the adoption of specific thematic categories. The first of these encompassed the woman's perception of the pregnancy, her awareness of the coming of the new baby, health problems up to the time of the loss, and the health service attendance. The significance of the loss for the women in this study was made evident along three central lines: the loss of a part of herself, attribution of the fatality to divine intervention and changes in attitude towards life. The social support network for these women was built on two pillars: family and church. Support from the health services was practically nonexistent. Finally, they all expressed their will to live and the need to work, study and even have another pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS: There needs to be a change in general concepts in the mission to attend to such women. The attendance provided by the healthcare services needs to be humanized. The need for multiprofessional follow-up of healthcare service users who suffered fetal loss was very evident. The importance of a support network for women who have gone through this problem was also shown.

Keywords : Women's health; Women [psycology]; Fetal death; Pregnancy [psycology]; Perception; Pregnancy complications [psycology]; Social support; Maternal health services; Life change events.

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