The Involuntary Pregnancy Loss Collaborative, Drs. Kimberly Dasch-Yee, Jenai Grigg, and Stacy McDonald, visited Paris, France from March 5-8 to present at the eighth annual World Congress of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health (IAWMH), a non-profit, non-governmental organization that was established in 2001 to improve the mental health of women throughout the world.
The trio had two presentations during the four-day event: a poster presentation entitled, “Grief and Coping Following Pregnancy Loss” and an oral presentation entitled, “Mom Blogs: A Qualitative Analysis of Pregnancy Loss Blog Content.”
“Several hundred people, including clinicians and researchers from all over the world, attended the conference,” McDonald said. “We made connections with researchers from other countries who are interested in collaborating on future projects related to pregnancy loss. We even had some down time to explore and eat our way through Paris.”
“Grief and Coping Following Pregnancy Loss” presented results from the first online survey study that the IPL Collaborative conducted in 2017, which collected data from 42 women who had experienced involuntary loss. The study examined women’s coping and grief following their pregnancy loss, as well as their perceptions of their partner’s grief and coping. It also examined relationship outcomes.
“Results suggested that helping couples feel like they are coping in similar ways, at least related to Planning and Self-Blame, may be related to better emotional outcomes,” Dasch-Yee said. “Interestingly, it does not appear to be as helpful if the couples are similar in their use of positive reframing. This may reflect that women feel differently about their partner thinking about the situation in a more positive way. Consistent with the literature in this area, women perceived that they grieve more intensely than their partners following an involuntary pregnancy loss. As predicted, when women perceived that their partner grieved differently, it was related to lower relationship satisfaction.”
“Mom Blogs: A Qualitative Analysis of Pregnancy Loss Blog Content” discussed findings from the Collaborative’s most recent study, which qualitatively analyzed miscarriage blogs for recurrent themes. The presentation focused on the theme of Mental Health, particularly as it relates to emotions and seeking mental health treatment after experiencing loss.
“It was our hope that the information gleaned from this analysis would help highlight inaccuracies and potential gaps in the pregnancy loss literature, and help guide future research in this area,” Grigg said. “This analysis identified the first 30 blog posts that emerged as search results of a Google search for ‘miscarriage blogs.’ From this qualitative analysis, we learned that pregnancy loss can be a complexly emotional experience. Most women described feeling compounding emotions that may be conflicting and/or unstable. For example, feeling hope and grief at the same time. Common emotions included not just sadness, but grief, fear, anger, self-blame, guilt and hope. Furthermore, mainstream healthcare approaches may not be meeting the complex needs of women who experience pregnancy loss. Analysis of the blogs indicated that Alternative Therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, and Reiki are providing some comfort and/or relief for women experiencing pregnancy loss.”