The experiences of parents who have had a stillborn child in New Zealand.
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This research aimed to explore, understand, and describe the experiences of parents who have a stillborn child in New Zealand. Currently, there is limited stillbirth research being conducted in New Zealand and no research produced to date studying stillbirth from this perspective in New Zealand. Although there is similar international research it is important to understand the experience of having a stillbirth within the New Zealand context. Understanding the experience from a parent’s perspective gives them a voice to share their story and highlight practices and procedures that were beneficial to their experience of stillbirth and those that were not. Participants were recruited through a snowball technique and the research was conducted through a qualitative descriptive methodology. Semi structured interviews were conducted with eight participants (three male, five female) where they were asked to tell their story and share their experiences of having a stillbirth. The interviews were recorded and transcribed to conduct a thematic analysis. Through the thematic analysis six themes were found, each with further subthemes. The themes are: ‘moving with the times,’ ‘the importance of staff,’ ‘the influence of society,’ ‘moving forward,’ ‘grief,’ and ‘the father’s perspectives.’ This research aims to encourage further stillbirth research within New Zealand. Furthermore, the outcomes of this research will hopefully educate bureaucrats and healthcare professionals and have a positive influence on the care and support that parents of stillborn children receive.