Men's lived experiences of perinatal loss: A review of the literature

Van Nguyen, Meredith Temple-Smith, Jade Bilardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Perinatal loss is often considered an emotionally and physically traumatic event for expectant parents. While there is strong evidence of its impact on women, limited research has independently explored men's lived experiences. Aim: This scoping review will examine current literature on the lived experiences of men whose partner has experienced a still-birth or miscarriage. Material and Methods: The scoping review identified relevant articles by systematically searching through four electronic databases utilising a PRISMA search strategy. Strict inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied to articles. The articles’ reference lists were further scrutinised until no further articles that met the criteria were located. Fifteen articles were located including 14 qualitative studies and one non-peer reviewed academic article. Articles were thematically analysed. Results: The review identified three major themes that are particularly pertinent to shaping the lived experiences of men whose partner has suffered a perinatal loss: (1) pregnancy attachment and the aftermath; (2) supporting their partner and being supported; and (3) impacts upon future pregnancies. Conclusion: Perinatal loss can have negative implications for men's psychological and social well-being. Across the studies men had different levels of attachments to the pregnancy, influencing their emotional responses to the loss. Men perceived their primary role as being a supporter to their partners but received limited support themselves. Men often reported that their safe and trusting attitudes toward pregnancy had forever changed. Further areas of research are recommended in hopes of enhancing support for men, and consequently their partners and families, who experience perinatal loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-766
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • abortion spontaneous
  • male
  • pregnancy loss
  • qualitative
  • still-birth

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