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Exploring the Social Networks of Women Bereaved by Stillbirth: A Descriptive Qualitative Study
journal contributionposted on 22.10.2021, 08:28 by Tosin PopoolaTosin Popoola, Joan Skinner, Martin Woods
The loss of a baby to stillbirth is a traumatic experience and can lead to secondary losses, such as the loss of social relationships. In Nigeria, stillbirths are a common public health problem. However, limited attention has been given to the social ramifications of stillbirths. This study describes the social networks of women who have experienced a stillbirth and the factors influencing their social networks. Interviews and social network diagrams were used to collect data from 20 women about their social networks before and after stillbirth. Findings suggest that the experience of shame, unmet expectation of support, and a lack of trust led to relationship changes after stillbirth. Most participants met bereavement needs with their existing social networks before stillbirth, but many participants also experienced relationship losses (even among family networks). Information from social network analysis can reveal the risks and strengths inherent in social networks, which can be helpful for the provision of tailored/personalized bereavement care.