Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Fathers experienced stillbirth as a waste of life and needed to protect their partners and express grief in their own way

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

OpenUrlCrossRefPubMedWeb of Science

QUESTION: How do fathers experience the intrauterine death of their child?






11 fathers (age range 31–46 y) whose partners had stillborn children at 32–42 weeks of pregnancy in 1997 and 1998. 6 fathers already had children. 4 fathers had become fathers again after the stillbirth, and 4 of the men′s partners were pregnant at the time of the study.


Fathers were interviewed 5–27 months after the stillbirth in the venue of their choice (at home or the hospital). Interviews of 25 minutes to 2 hours in length were taped and transcribed. The transcripts were analysed to identify meaningful central units.

Main findings

(1) Experiencing that the baby was no longer alive: 8 fathers had a premonition that something was wrong before being told about the stillbirth, but they still had hope. Fathers described feelings of impending catastrophe (including shock, a lack of feeling, and denial). They also described great disappointment when their preparations and expectations for the baby were thwarted. Most fathers found …

View Full Text


  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Ms M Samuelsson, University of Halmstead/Varberg, Varberg, Sweden. Margaret.samuelsson{at}