Next Steps for the Project

As Baby Loss Awareness Week draws to a close, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what’s next for the Death Before Birth project team.

Our linguists are currently focusing on analysing the transcripts of 16 interviews we conducted with professionals who provide support to those who have experienced pregnancy loss. The majority of those we interviewed work for one of our partner organisations, with participants from the Miscarriage Association, SANDS, and Antenatal Results and Choices. This analysis has enabled the linguists to build and trial an annotation scheme which they will also use when analysing the interviews with the bereaved.

We are also currently conducting interviews with women who have experienced miscarriage, termination for fetal anomaly, or stillbirth. These interviews will enable us to investigate the experiences of the bereaved, the care they received, and their decision-making processes surrounding the loss. We will also identify differences in the language used by caregivers and the bereaved, as this can point to different understandings and conceptions of the experience of pregnancy/baby loss in the two groups.

We’re looking forward to talking about our research at a number of upcoming conferences. Jeannette and Sarah are sharing some of the linguistic findings at the British Sociological Association’s ‘Death and Time’ symposium in London in December, while Karolina will be attending Shifting States, a major international anthropology conference held at the University of Adelaide. We have also submitted an abstract for the 2018 Researching and Applying Metaphor Conference at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

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