Despite the prevalence of miscarriage and its associated morbidity and impact on functioning, relatively little research has been conducted on women’s return to work experience post-miscarriage. The growing number of women in the workforce increases the importance of understanding women’s return to work experience post-miscarriage. Miscarriages, defined as pregnancy loss within the first 20 weeks, may cause significant emotional and psychological impairments (e.g., depression, anxiety, and trauma symptoms). Current research supports using a trauma theory framework to better understand the effects of miscarriages. Trauma experiences have been shown to negatively impact occupational functioning. There is limited research that explores the occupational experiences of women post-miscarriage. This study utilized a qualitative (i.e., phenomenological) approach, to explore the psychological impact of miscarriage for 12 participants and how miscarriage impacted their return to work experience. Thematic analysis was utilized to identify themes; some key findings explored participants’ physiological (e.g., blood loss) and emotional (e.g., loss of identity, feeling trapped, shame/guilt, etc.) reactions, their interactions with medical staff (e.g., lack of instructions, no heartbeat on the ultrasound, etc.), social factors (e.g., social isolation) and support (e.g., validation), interactions with co-workers and employers (i.e., supportive and unsupportive), challenges to returning to work (e.g., not feeling emotionally ready), and factors that positively (e.g., work as a distraction) and negatively (e.g., retriggering emotions) impacted their experiences. Future research should continue to explore women’s work functioning post-miscarriage, and interventions and policies that can be utilized to improve their experience.
|Commitee:||Nelson, Annabelle L., Mizock, Lauren, Robertson Blackmore, Emma|
|School:||Fielding Graduate University|
|Department:||The School of Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Clinical psychology, Womens studies, Occupational psychology, Obstetrics|
|Keywords:||Miscarriage, Occupational functioning, Perinatal loss, Return to work, Spontaneous abortion, Trauma|
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