Surrounded by the Misconceptions of Significant Others: The Main Concerns of Iranian Women Following Perinatal Loss


Parvin Shahry, Fazlollah Ahmadi, Manije Sereshti and Seyedeh Fatemeh Vasegh Rahimparvar*


Perinatal loss has significant psychological effects on mothers that can be exacerbated by inappropriate supportive experiences. Although Iranian women consider the support of family and healthcare provider as a basic need and an important factor in adapting to perinatal loss, it is not clear how the support of family, relatives, friends and healthcare professionals is perceived by these mothers. The aim of this study was to explore unfavorable supportive experiences of mothers with perinatal loss.


A qualitative conventional content analysis study was performed using 18 purposively sampled mothers with history perinatal loss who attending Health Care Centers in Ahvaz city. Data was gathered using in - depth semi -structured interviews from February 2020 to October 2021. Due to the COVID - 19 pandemic, most interviews were conducted via telephone and social media. To extract themes and categories, an inductive conventional content analysis was carried out.


Data analysis led to the emergence of three categories: Significant others’ misunderstanding of individual’s needs, Confronting unhelpful support and attention from significant others, ignoring the loss in the healthcare system, which were placed in the theme of Surrounded by the misconceptions of significant others.


Social support is one of the few variables affecting grief that can be adjusted. Due to the lack of special supportive guidelines for these mothers in Iran, the results of the present study can improve the support provided by the social network and the healthcare professionals’ effective support to the bereaved mothers.