Pregnancy after miscarriage: balancing between loss of control and searching for control

Res Nurs Health. 2014 Aug;37(4):267-75. doi: 10.1002/nur.21610. Epub 2014 Jun 29.


Pregnant women who have had miscarriages face challenges in responding to the loss of the previous pregnancy and the uncertainties of the early pregnancy that follows. The research question in this qualitative study was: How do women experience miscarriage, conception, and the early pregnancy waiting period, and what types of coping strategies do they use during these periods? Twenty-four women were interviewed in a subsequent pregnancy after having a miscarriage. Data analyses resulted in an overarching theme described as "balancing between loss of control and searching for control." Although women realized there was little they could do to influence the outcome, they searched for strategies to increase the feeling of control in each period of waiting. The results of this study may contribute to interventions to support women during miscarriage and subsequent conception and pregnancy.

Keywords: coping strategies; emotions; miscarriage; pregnancy; qualitative research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / psychology*
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Grief*
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research