When prenatal diagnosis fails: discovering a severe anomaly at birth

Lafarge, Caroline ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2148-078X (2017) When prenatal diagnosis fails: discovering a severe anomaly at birth. In: UWL Research Conference 2017, 30 Jun 2017, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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In Western societies, pregnant women are offered antenatal screening to test for congenital anomalies. In France, three ultrasound examinations are routinely conducted and 84% of women (Blondel & Kermarrec, 2011) receive Down’s syndrome screening. Yet, despite reassuring results, 2.5% of women give birth to a child with anomaly(ies) (InVS, 2015).
This paper focuses on women’s experiences of discovering that their child has an anomaly(ies) at birth.

The presentation will include a short description of the background and methodology (In-depth interviews and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) and will cover the findings
Five themes were identified: an internal earthquake; entering the world of disability; action as an antidote to helplessness; ambivalent and complex relationships with health professionals ; a new narrative
The results show that discovering an anomaly at birth is challenging and has significant impact on women’s identity. It marks a brutal transition to a world of ‘difference’ and triggers changes in the family narrative and the way women anticipate the future. It also generates reflections on the practice/malpractice of prenatal diagnosis.
In our study, although women were challenged by their new situation, they developed coping strategies enabling them to accept and regain some control on their new situation. Women’s relationships to health professionals were often complex and ambivalent, but also encompassed feelings of loyalty. Despite the initial trauma, women expressed gratitude for having experienced a relative stress-free pregnancy and for the opportunity of meeting/bonding with their baby.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Psychology
Social sciences
Depositing User: Caroline Lafarge
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2017 17:05
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:08
URI: https://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3555


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