Purpose: To understand the experiences of Asian women in Taiwan who are adjusting to motherhood following previous pregnancy loss.
Study Design and Methods: Phenomenology was used as the study design, and interviews were used to collect data in a medical center in Northern Taiwan with six women who had given birth to a healthy baby after previous pregnancy loss. Following ethical approval, interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed to develop data themes.
Results: The nautical metaphor was chosen because of the fact that Taiwan is an island and surround by sea. The sea has deep cultural meaning of uncertainty in life for the Taiwanese people. A metaphor of "sailing against the tide" emerged from the data to depict three stages of the women's journey: remembering the previous journey of loss; the rising sun brings new life within; and changing tide brings new birth. The essence of their journey through the pregnancy and birth was a permutation of fear, uncertainty, and a deep desire for reassurance of fetal well-being.
Clinical Implications: This study reinforces the difficulties that women have after a pregnancy loss, but examines it with a unique cultural focus. Nurses and midwives can use these findings to develop caring and understanding practices designed to help women in these circumstances. Pregnancy after a loss is never the same as a previous pregnancy, and is perceived as different from a pregnancy that other "normal" pregnant women have. Women need nurses and midwives who can provide comprehensive practical, physical, culturally specific, psychosocial, and spiritual support to help them successfully chart their journey out of profound loss.
Women of varying cultures experience perinatal loss in culturally specific terms. The women studied here help us to understand one of those cultural imperatives.
Hui-Lin Sun is an Assistant Professor, Mackay Medicine, Nursing and Management College, Taipei, Taiwan. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marlene Sinclair is a Professor and a member of the Maternal, Fetal and Infant Research Centre at the Institute of Nursing Research, School of Nursing, University of Ulster Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.
W. George Kernohan is a Professor and a member of the Maternal, Fetal and Infant Research Centre at the Institute of Nursing Research, Institute of Nursing Research, School of Nursing, University of Ulster Jordanstown, Northern Ireland. He can be reached via e-mail at Wg.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Te-Hsin Chang is a Supervisor, Mackay Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
Hillary Patterson, RGN, RM, Diploma Bereavement Counselling, Bsc (hons). is a bereaved support midwife, Ulster hospital, Northern Ireland. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no conflict of interest, including any financial interest or affiliation with any organization or company related to the material in this manuscript.