Background: Despite growing recognition of the potential psychological and emotional impacts of pregnancy loss on expecting parents, the majority of the literature and subsequent care guidelines focus largely on women's experiences. Currently, there is limited research pertaining solely to men's health and psychological outcomes, especially in the Australian context. Objective: This study aimed to explore Australian men's experiences of both formal and informal supports received following a female partner's pregnancy loss. Methods: Using a qualitative research design, eight South Australian men were interviewed about their experiences of support following pregnancy loss. Findings: Thematic analysis returned six themes, categorised into three sections based on the aims of the study. Overall, findings indicated that fathers require emotional support following a loss, however these supports need to be flexible. Although some men may find support groups and individual counselling helpful, others may benefit from informal support options, such as having another trusted man to confide in, or the opportunity to ‘give back’ and help others. Additionally, while participants who accessed support services were largely satisfied, others were unaware of services, perceiving a lack of appropriate support options. Conclusion: There is a need for more active recognition of men throughout the pregnancy journey and early in their grief following a loss, especially in the hospital setting. In addition to experiencing grief, our findings suggest that male-specific challenges also exist, and future research is required to further explore and extend existing theories of men's grief.
- Pregnancy loss