Infant and child deaths: Parent concerns about subsequent pregnancies

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



Examine parents' concerns about subsequent pregnancies after experiencing an infant or child death (newborn to 18 years).

Data sources:

Thirty-nine semistructured parent (white, black, Hispanic) interviews 7 and 13 months post infant/child death conducted in English and/or Spanish, audio-recorded, transcribed, and content analyzed. Mothers' mean age was 31.8 years, fathers' was 39 years; 11 parents were white, 16 black, and 12 Hispanic.


Themes common at 7 and 13 months: wanting more children; fear, anxiety, scared; praying to God/God's will; thinking about/keeping the infant's/child's memory and at 7 months importance of becoming pregnant for family members; and at 13 months happy about a new baby. Parents who lost a child in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) commented more than those who lost a child in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Black and Hispanic parents commented more on praying to God and subsequent pregnancies being God's will than white parents.

Implications for practice:

Loss of an infant/child is a significant stressor on parents with documented negative physical and mental health outcomes. Assessing parents' subsequent pregnancy plans, recognizing the legitimacy of their fears about another pregnancy, discussing a plan should they encounter problems, and carefully monitoring the health of all parents who lost an infant/child is an essential practitioner role.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles