Shannon R. Eichenauer
Mr. Worth Weller
November 1st, 2003
Miscarriage and Pregnancy Loss: An Annotated Bibliography
In my research on miscarriage and pregnancy loss I hope to learn how to more
adequately communicate what this type of loss feels like and to gain the knowledge of
how to communicate it to others so that they may more easily understand the loss. I feel
that this will bring awareness and sensitivity to a topic that is typically dealt with a deep
silent sorrow and little compassion.
Banks, Rosamonde. “Just another spontaneous abortion?” The British Medical Journal
306 (1993): 1698-1699.
The author of this article writes about when she went through a miscarriage at 12
weeks and a term that was used very lucidly with her was “spontaneous abortion” and
how her miscarriage was just another spontaneous abortion and very normal. So it was
treated as a very typical common day occurrence by the people that cared for her. She
points out that spontaneous abortion is the medical term used by medical personnel to
classify a miscarriage. That description however carries with it the thought of an
unwanted child which typically isn’t the case in a pregnancy loss. She writes the article to
inform medical professionals that no miscarriage is just another loss. It is a child and real
loss and how the terms used were scary and unemotional. She questions why more
support isn’t given or more information offered on why this happens. I plan to use this
article to show how it treated as just another medical occurrence while it is true it isn’t
Bowles, Stephan V. and et al. “Acute and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after
Spontaneous Abortion” American Family Physician 61 (2000): 1689-1697.
This article discusses the ways a father and mother grieve after a pregnancy loss
and how important the care taken by their physician is immediately following and that
often it they are ignored and treated as an everyday occurrence that they can suffer from
acute or Post-traumatic stress disorder. The authors make an important note that
physicians watch their patients and make sure that they go through the typical grieving
process to avoid further depression. I plan to use this article to show the impact of not
dealing with the emotional side of miscarriage properly and how it can affect things in
Brier, Sigal and et al. “The Meaning of Miscarriage to Others: Is it an unrecognized
Loss?” Journal of Personal and Interpersonal Loss 5 (2000): 65-76.
The authors of the article point out just how common miscarriages are in our
society. They report that women that they have spoken with often say that friends and
family often minimize the impact of their losses. They address the issue of why society
offers such a different prospective of grief to miscarriage vs. a regular death. They show
us that society accepts it is a true loss but that it doesn’t have much meaning because no
life was lived and it begs more attention and awareness to the topic. The article points
out that many people focus on the physical aspect of a loss of this nature. The physical
loss last days sometime weeks but the emotional loss can last for months of years so that
leave grieving parents to deal with it alone. They address the confusing terminology used
by the medical community, they address technology for allowing parents to get attached
much sooner and they discuss a study conducted in a psychology class about miscarriage
and pregnancy loss to see what kind of awareness there is. They go on to discuss the
results and how society doesn’t give much meaning to the loss and why. I plan to use this
article to show how important awareness in this subject is to make cultural changes.
Clayson, Jane and Lisa Birnbach. “Coping with Miscarriages.” The Early Show 24 Jan.
This is an interview transcript that Jane Clayson and Lisa Birnbach, both CBS
correspondents, did in a series, “Yikes, I am a grown up”. It was dealing with the
changing ways in which we deal with pregnancy loss. Lisa resolves that in her research
she has found the importance of realizing it is a very real loss for the parents. Birnbach
interviews expectant parents about what they have thought throughout their pregnancies
and about pregnancy loss. There are also interviews with people who have gone through
losses and wish to share their thoughts on their own losses. She talks about her own
personal loss and how important it is to not minimize the sorrow. I plan to use this article
to discuss the very real side to a pregnancy loss.
Day, Randal D. and Daniel Hooks. “Miscarriage: A Special Type of Family Crisis”
Family Relations Jul 1987: 305-310.
This article clarifies that the medical community need more training awareness
brought to the subject of miscarriage and pregnancy loss so that parents can more
effectively deal with their losses outside of the medical arena. The article mainly focuses
on the loss and how a family and friends play an important role in how the loss is dealt
with by the grieving parents. Studies are offered on what is effective and what is not in
grieving for such a loss. Randall D. Day is a prof at Brigham Young University and has
had many publications concerning family issues. I plan to use this article the importance
of medical professionals taking this loss as significant to their patients.
Davis, Christopher and et all. “Searching for Meaning in a Loss: Are Clinical
Assumptions Correct?” Death Studies 24 (2000): 498-541.
This is an article that critiques research studies of loss and bereavement and
assumptions that are made from those studies and if they are truly correct. It discusses
how often they are incorrect and the research needs to be more in depth because when
discussing a loss it is so personal that several factors have to be included. Factors such as
what people are looking for as the meaning of the loss or are they at all, religion, personal
worldviews, supportive environments, identity and the impact the loss has on it and so
on. This article identifies a lot of issues that research doesn’t cover so that you can’t say
there is a norm for dealing with a loss. I plan to use this to show the assumptions that
often made by others about pregnancy loss.
Dyck R.N., Carole. “Closure: Is it a Reality?” Compassionatefriends.org. 2003.
Compassionate Friends. Sep 2003.
Often when one experiences such a loss a big hang up for others is that they do
not realize it is a death like any other so often grieving parents are faced with, “It is time
to move on”. A sentence that not only crushes the parents but diminishes their grief and
loss they feel. In this article Carole faces head on, is it even a reality to think that there
will be closure or that they will just get over it. The truth she points out is no. There is no
way any parent that loses child no matter the amount of life lived that pain is always
there. She points out that we do begin coping better and moving on in a sense but that it is
important to remember that person is forever changed. I plan to use this to show the
impact of a miscarriage.
Ilse, Sherokee. Empty Arms Maple Plain: Wintergreen Press, 1996.
This book is written by a woman who had endured her own losses and is a
national consultant on pregnancy loss and a founder of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Center.
It addresses all the issues that grieving parents face and how to cope with it. She focuses
on memorializing the loss regardless of what others think you should do and to get
through it however you can. I plan to use to demonstrate how a loss occurs emotionally.
Johnson, Dr. S and Joy. This Little While. Omaha: Centering Corporation. 1999.
This book focuses on how we need to recognize everyone is different in grief and
allow them to grieve in what way helps. It also talks about how to help others with the
grief, stemming from younger family members up to grandparents and parents. It offers
insights on looking and finding comfort. Joy Johnson has written several books about
grief. I use this book to discuss the importance of recognizing the loss.
Kohn M.S.W., Ingrid, and et al. A Silent Sorrow: Pregnancy Loss New York: Dell
This book describes many aspects of loss. It starts with several different types of
grief and how to cope. It also goes through the stages of grief. It discusses the grief from
different viewpoints. It discusses how the loss will affect relationships. It talks of
different sorts of loss and the aftermath of each one. Then it goes on to discuss how the
response of others including family and friends affects the parents going through the loss
and how to be an advocate to improve hospital or physician care. The book discusses how
to find comfort and where some other have. It also addresses the issue of becoming
pregnant again and fears that go along with that. I plan to use this as my handbook for
describing how a bereaved parent grieves and why.
Langberg M.D., Diane Mandt. “My Wife’s still grieving a Miscarriage.”
Today’s Christian Woman Jun. 1996: 13-15.
This is a very real article about a husband’s concern over his wife’s continuing
grief over a miscarriage and Dr. Langberg helps the gentleman understand his wife’s pain
and why she is still grieving. She also places in the importance on not ignoring his own
grief instead of worrying about his wife’s grief. Dian Langberg is a self help Christian
author who writes about issues over overcoming huge emotional issues. I plan to use this
article to show the pressure to get over a loss even by a spouse.
Layne, Linda. “Breaking the Silence: An Agenda for a Feminist Discourse of Pregnancy
Loss” Feminist Studies 23 (1997):289.
In this article excerpted from her book Motherhood Lost: A feminist’s account of
pregnancy loss in America , Layne discusses her own personal loss and addresses the
issues with society concerning the constant silence on the topic of pregnancy loss. She
discusses how our society’s culture ignores the impact of pregnancy loss thus changing
the way parents and mothers in particular grieve for their losses. She tours doing lectures
on pregnancy loss and she is comforted that most people want to help but say the wrong
things. So she is making it a goal to teach others the right things to say or not say. She
blames the pregnancy books; people educating women on pregnancies for not making it
now that miscarriages are common and feels if that education were brought to the
forefront the silence on Miscarriage wouldn’t be so bad. She also discusses the medical
and religious aspects of how society deals with pregnancy loss. While she believes it is a
feminist issue she also believes it is a women’s issue that needs to have more attention to
help those going through it. I plan to use this because many of the issues she brings up
are exactly why I wanted to write this paper.
Martin, Shanon. “Your Loss/Questions” Personal Interview. 18 Sep. 2003.
I conducted an interview through the phone and through email concerning
Shanon’s loss of her son in April 2003. She gave birth to her son Gage at 19 weeks and
he lived for 56 minutes. In the interview I discuss with her loss, her feelings surrounding
her loss. I also discuss how others have treated her ranging from doctors, to friends, to
family and son on. I also talk to her about having another family. To show the real face
of pregnancy loss.
Manning, Doug. Comforting Those who Grieve. Harper and Row, 1987.
Mr. Manning gives a long definition of grief and how others need to understand it
is a process and has a meaning for every stage. It states the importance of letting the
parents grieve and allowing them to go throw each stage. His book is read by many grief
counselors and helps those who are bereaved. Mr. Manning is an author who writes about
bereavement in many different forms. The list of his works is long and relied upon by
many grief centers which is also where I got my copy of his book. I plan to use this to
show the importance of letting a parent grieve how they need to.
National SHARE Office. The Magnitude of Miscarriage St. Charles, MO: St. Joseph’s
Health Center, 2003.
The National SHARE Office is an organization that was started to help parents of
babies who were lost during pregnancy, stillbirth or new born death. In a packet of
information sent to me on pregnancy loss an article entitled, The Magnitude of
Miscarriage written by Sharon N. Covington L.C.S.W. in it is discusses the psychological
aspects of miscarriage. It discusses the magnitude of such a loss to parents and those
around them. She gives suggestions for recognizing the loss and for getting others to
recognize the loss as well. She also has reminders of understanding just how different
grief is for everyone who experiences it. I plan to use this to share the magnitude of
miscarriage to those it happens too.
Steed, Cindy. “Your Loss/Questions” Personal Interview. 25 Sept. 2003
In this interview both over the phone and through email Cindy discusses the loss
of her pregnancy at 23 weeks which her daughter was born still. She includes how
people around her made her feel good and bad and discusses why she thinks it is such a
silent sorrow for those going through it. She also talks about the future and how she will
cope with her loss in the future. She gives great insight in the emotional trauma of a loss
of pregnancy. I plan to use this to show the real story of how a pregnancy loss occurs and
how parents cope.