Sailing Against the Tide: Taiwanese Women’s Journey From Pregnancy Loss to Motherhood

Hui-Lin Sun, Marlene Sinclair, George Kernohan, Te-Hsin Chang, Hiliary Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To understand the experiences of Asian women inTaiwan who are adjusting to motherhood following previouspregnancy loss.Study Design and Methods: Phenomenology was used asthe study design, and interviews were used to collect data ina medical center in Northern Taiwan with six women who hadgiven birth to a healthy baby after previous pregnancy loss.Following ethical approval, interviews were audio-recorded,transcribed, and analyzed to develop data themes.Results: The nautical metaphor was chosen because of thefact that Taiwan is an island and surround by sea. The sea hasdeep cultural meaning of uncertainty in life for the Taiwanesepeople. A metaphor of “sailing against the tide” emergedfrom the data to depict three stages of the women’s journey:remembering the previous journey of loss; the rising sunbrings new life within; and changing tide brings new birth.The essence of their journey through the pregnancy and birthwas a permutation of fear, uncertainty, and a deep desire forreassurance of fetal well-being.Clinical Implications: This study reinforces the diffi cultiesthat women have after a pregnancy loss, but examines itwith a unique cultural focus. Nurses and midwives can usethese fi ndings to develop caring and understanding practicesdesigned to help women in these circumstances. Pregnancyafter a loss is never the same as a previous pregnancy, and isperceived as different from a pregnancy that other “normal”pregnant women have. Women need nurses and midwiveswho can provide comprehensive practical, physical, culturallyspecifi c, psychosocial, and spiritual support to help themsuccessfully chart their journey out of profound loss.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-133
JournalMCN: American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Bibliographical note

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  • Lived experience
  • Motherhood
  • Pregnancy loss
  • Subsequent pregnancy


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