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Embodied experiences of prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormality and pregnancy termination

Version 2 2024-06-03, 23:51
Version 1 2016-07-22, 13:43
journal contribution
posted on 2024-06-03, 23:51 authored by P Pitt, BJ McClaren, J Hodgson
Pregnant women routinely undergo prenatal screening in Australia and this has become a common experience of motherhood. When prenatal screening or prenatal testing results in diagnosis of a serious fetal abnormality, women are presented with a decision to continue or terminate their pregnancy. Few recent studies have explored women’s psychosocial experience of prenatal diagnosis and pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality, and within this small group of studies it is rare for research to consider the embodied aspect of women’s experiences. This paper reports on qualitative findings from in-depth interviews with 59 women in Melbourne, Australia who received a prenatal diagnosis of a significant abnormality and decided to terminate the pregnancy. Interview transcripts were coded inductively through thematic analysis. Two themes about embodiment were generated from the interviews: transitioning embodiment, and vulnerable bodies in un/comfortable spaces. Theory of pregnant embodiment was drawn on in interpreting women’s narratives. Recommendations arising from the analysis include health professionals recognising, acknowledging and accommodating the transitioning embodied state of women as they consider, prepare for, undergo and recover from pregnancy termination for fetal abnormality. Further recommendations address the connections and disconnections between this transitioning embodied state and the spaces of clinics, hospitals and home.

History

Journal

Reproductive health matters

Volume

24

Pagination

168-177

Location

Abingdon, Eng.

ISSN

0968-8080

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article, C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Elsevier Inc.

Issue

47

Publisher

Taylor & Francis