• Breaking the silence: Exploring the impact of pregnancy loss on women who delayed childbirth and remain childless

      Swinton, Valda; Sives, Amanda (University of Chester, 2014-11)
      Pregnancy loss and involuntary childlessness have long been recognised as having potentially devastating impacts on women who desire to be biological mothers. Despite the existence of a number of studies in these areas, no research has been undertaken which explores the relationship between postponing pregnancy, pregnancy loss and childlessness. This phenomenological study explores the lived experience of six women who underwent pregnancy loss at an advanced maternal age and remain childless. The findings illustrate the multiple losses that result, not only is there a loss of a hoped for child but also of an expected, anticipated future. The study explores how women experienced these painful processes as deeply isolating, how they impacted on their sense of self and how they struggled to rewrite a new future. The research demonstrates the continuing silence surrounding pregnancy loss and involuntary childlessness and highlights the fundamental importance of acknowledging the immediate pain and the lingering sadness associated with being childless. It contributes to an understanding of the multiple losses experienced and in doing so, hopes to raise awareness in counsellors of the depth of the existential crisis and the need for the multiple losses to be acknowledged and validated.