Exploring the Psychological and Emotional Issues as Relates to a Known Stillbirth

Pregnancies that reach 38 weeks of gestation normally don’t result in the fetus being still born but occasionally this does take place. When it does the midwife and other medical professionals have to be prepared and willing to help the mother cope and seek professional help to get through the devastating tragedy she has to deal with (Geller &amp. Neugebauer 2001, p. 432). The problematic situations that take place are of high concern and the grieving process in itself is just as complicated as attempting to understand the stillbirth of the baby. What makes the grieving process so difficult is the fact that the mother has not had the opportunity to bond with her baby so there are no memories there to comfort the parent at all. This is medically termed, ‘the token of remembrance’ and leads to high anxiety levels for many of these mothers due to the facts that they never had the opportunity to dress, caress, hold, or even speak with their babies (Radestad et al 1996, pg. 1505). Often the mother falls into a deep depression and goes through a series of psychological phases, some having been briefly mentioned.
The traumatization is one very important factor that presents itself in cases such as this one. Some of these are self-blame, and guilt even though there might not exist a medical explanation for the loss whatsoever (Frost 1996, p. 54). As the research will show, psychoanalytical theory, although utilized in the past for assessments following stillbirths was popular in decades past it is now considered unreliable and does not provide relevant information that correlates with the emotional state of women who suffer from such a loss. Stillbirth is now considered to be an event that creates intense feelings of sorrow and depression which can turn to more serious psychological problems, far exceeding the regular baby blue syndrome that women have following a normal delivery of a live baby. Ultimately from having had personal experience with this young woman I can strongly say that I believe the psychosocial factors are what are of the highest concern in ensuring her well-being following this loss. The support that she needs from her spouse, a woman’s support network, and her own relatives will definitely affect how she will appraise her loss and cope with it. These also will have a part in how well she manages the various emotional stages that she will indeed have to endure and how her level of distress will have to be managed as well. As was mentioned, depression and high levels of anxiety are the two most common psychological influences following such a tragic occurrence for women.
The Case Study
The case study shows a woman that was physically fit and took care of herself following the full 38 weeks of her pregnancy. There is no mention of cigarette smoking or alcohol abuse that could be tied in with the untimely death of her fetus in utero. Often these concurrent problems are what medical experts have found that can cause still-births and other related problems with a fetus while still in utero (Lester et al 2004, pg. 1477). However, as was stated, in this case there was no known