Maternal Bereavement: Mothers’ Lived Experience of Losing a Newborn Infant in Jordan


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Abstract

The death of a newborn infant is one of the most devastating situations a mother could experience. The aim of this study was to understand bereavement and its associated meanings as lived and experienced by the mothers who lost their newborn infants in the intensive care units of hospitals in Jordan. Data were generated using semistructured face-to-face interviews with 12 mothers who had the experience. A qualitative phenomenological approach was used for data analysis. Three main themes emerged from the analysis: (1) longing and grieving, as natural emotional responses to the loss; (2) adaptive work of coping, as the mothers internalized meanings to cope with their loss; and (3) moving forward but with a scar, as the mothers moved on with their lives while they carried the unforgettable memories of the newborns’ death experience. Bereavement support services should be considered vitally important as soon as the news of a newborn’s death is delivered to the mother. Palliative care nurses and other health care providers should give careful attention to the meanings that the mothers attached to the loss and support each bereaved mother’s spiritual values and effective coping mechanisms.

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