Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Scopus Web of Science® Altmetric
Type: Journal article
Title: Men's grief following pregnancy loss and neonatal loss: a systematic review and emerging theoretical model
Author: Obst, K.
Due, C.
Oxlad, M.
Middleton, P.
Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2020; 20(1):11-1-11-17
Publisher: Springer Nature
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1471-2393
Statement of
Kate Louise Obst, Clemence Due, Melissa Oxlad and Philippa Middleton
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Emotional distress following pregnancy loss and neonatal loss is common, with enduring grief occurring for many parents. However, little is known about men’s grief, since the majority of existing literature and subsequent bereavement care guidelines have focused on women. To develop a comprehensive understanding of men’s grief, this systematic review sought to summarise and appraise the literature focusing on men’s grief following pregnancy loss and neonatal loss. METHODS: A systematic review was undertaken with searches completed across four databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase, and CINAHL). These were guided by two research questions: 1) what are men’s experiences of grief following pregnancy/neonatal loss; and 2) what are the predictors of men’s grief following pregnancy/neonatal loss? Eligible articles were qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods empirical studies including primary data on men’s grief, published between 1998 and October 2018. Eligibility for loss type included miscarriage or stillbirth (by any definition), termination of pregnancy for nonviable foetal anomaly, and neonatal death up to 28 days after a live birth. RESULTS: A final sample of 46 articles were identified, including 26 qualitative, 19 quantitative, and one mixed methods paper. Findings indicate that men’s grief experiences are highly varied, and current grief measures may not capture all of the complexities of grief for men. Qualitative studies identified that in comparison to women, men may face different challenges including expectations to support female partners, and a lack of social recognition for their grief and subsequent needs. Men may face double-disenfranchised grief in relation to the pregnancy/neonatal loss experience. CONCLUSION: There is a need to increase the accessibility of support services for men following pregnancy/neonatal loss, and to provide recognition and validation of their experiences of grief. Cohort studies are required among varied groups of bereaved men to confirm grief-predictor relationships, and to refine an emerging socio-ecological model of men’s grief.
Keywords: Fathers; Grief; Men; Miscarriage; Neonatal loss; Stillbirth; Systematic review; Abortion, Spontaneous; Adult; Fathers; Female; Grief; Humans; Infant, Newborn; Male; Models, Theoretical; Perinatal Death; Pregnancy
Rights: © The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
RMID: 1000012383
DOI: 10.1186/s12884-019-2677-9
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
hdl_122819.pdfPublished version1.2 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.