Women’s lived experiences of a prenatal diagnosis of fetal growth restriction at the limits of viability: an interpretative phenomenological study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-117
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2019
The research team aimed to understand women's lived experiences during pregnancies with poor prognosis following prenatal detection of Fetal Growth Restriction at the limits of viability (FGRLV).

Qualitative interviews with six women who had attended a specialist service following a prenatal diagnosis of FGRLV were conducted. The interview data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Three superordinate themes alongside thirteen subthemes were identified. Theme 1 described ‘a fine line between supportive and unhelpful’ care experiences. A second theme of ‘understanding the situation and decisions to be made’ described how women faced many uncertainties. The final theme of ‘parental responsibility’ reflected how women imagined their futures to have been, exploring their embodied parental role and connection to their unborn or young child.

Key conclusions and implications for practice
Women highlighted the importance of maternal healthcare teams providing clear information and reassurance to them. They also reported that prior experiences were important to them in influencing their perception of that pregnancy. Furthermore, women reflected on their desperation for a positive outcome. Understanding these factors can enable maternal healthcare teams to facilitate informed decision-making and provide individualised emotional support for women. Our findings will enable maternal care teams to better support women in similar clinical situations.


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External organisations

  • University of Manchester

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