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Beliefs and strategies for coping with stillbirth: A qualitative study in Nigeria
journal contributionposted on 2022-01-10, 08:11 authored by Tosin PopoolaTosin Popoola, Joan Skinner, Martin Woods
Stillbirth, the loss of a baby during pregnancy or childbirth, is one of the most devastating losses a parent can experience. The experience of stillbirth is associated with trauma and intense grief, but mothers’ belief systems can be protective against the impacts of grief. Women in Nigeria endure a high burden of stillbirth and the aim in this study was to describe the beliefs and strategies for coping with stillbirth. Twenty mothers bereaved by stillbirth in Nigeria were interviewed; seven of them also participated in a focus group. The findings of the study revealed that the experience of stillbirth was influenced by beliefs which originated from superstitions, religion, and social expectations. These beliefs played significant roles in how mothers coped with the loss, by providing them with a framework for sense-making and benefit-finding.