Partners in Pain, Two Sides of a Zipper – Midwives’ Experiences With Stillbirth: A Qualitative Study


Omega (United States), 2024 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/00302228241235429
  • Journal Name: Omega (United States)
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, Periodicals Index Online, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, AgeLine, ATLA Religion Database, CINAHL, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Violence & Abuse Abstracts
  • Keywords: Grief, midwifery, qualitative research, quality of health care, stillbirth
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


This study was conducted to explore and understand the experiences of midwives who care for women experiencing stillbirth and the challenges they face in this process. A qualitative study was conducted with 11 midwives using the phenomenological method. Descriptive analysis of the data revealed four main themes: 1) Silent screams in the face of despair (women’s reactions to stillbirth), 2) Being a partner in pain, “two sides of a zipper” (midwives’ experience of stillbirth), 3) Efforts to cope with the pain, and 4) Just two words: “if only.” The impact of stillbirths on midwives should not be disregarded. Emotions such as shock, horror, fear, guilt, and anger experienced by midwives following a stillbirth can adversely affect their mental health. The guilt experienced by midwives can also negatively impact their health and quality of life, as well as cause burnout and distancing from the profession.