The Lived Experience of Women Who Underwent Intrauterine Fetal Death (IUFD) in Taiwan

Monday, 22 July 2013: 11:05 AM

Tsorng-yeh Lee, PhD1
Ying-Chun Liu, MSN, RN2
Shih-Ching Chao, MSN, RN2
(1)School of Nursing, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
(2)School of Nursing, National Defense Medical Center, Taipei, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to understand the lived experience of Taiwanese women who undergo intrauterine fetal death (IUFD).

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to understand the post-mortem management on deceased fetus in Taiwan

Purpose: The care of women who had experienced IUFD is insufficient in Taiwan. The post-mortem management by most medical practitioners and family members is rather imprudent. Only a few people concerned about the fetus’ human rights and the couples’ feelings. Some couples in grieving of their lost child were even too sorrowful to see the remains of their baby or to keep any souvenir while felt regretted from time to time ever after. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the lived experience of women who underwent IUFD in Taiwan

Methods: Seventeen participants were recruited through purposive sampling. The inclusion criteria were women who were: 1) more than 20 years old, 2) > 20 weeks gestational age, 3) married, 4) induced labor for IUFD. The data were collected during one-hour in-depth interviews, 2-4 weeks after delivery. Colaizzi’s phenomenological methodology was used to analyse the data.


Eight themes were extracted from the interviewed data, they were: (1) the emotional fluctuation after loss of the fetus; (2) the reason for seeing or not seeing the body of the fetus; (3) unforgotten experience of induction of labor; (4) the appropriate management of the body of the fetus; (5) the meaning of the memorial; (6) more considerate for others after crying; (7) the change of emotion; and (8) the hope for following pregnancies.

Conclusion: The result of the study can facilitate the medical and nursing practitioners a better understanding of the psychological feeling of women who undergo IUFD. Considerate and caring policies, including bereavement services, should be developed in all hospitals in Taiwan to help women to cope perinatal loss.