Applying Heidegger’s interpretive phenomenology to women’s miscarriage experience
1School of life Sciences, University of Skövde, 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Skaraborgs Hospital, Skövde, Sweden
Abstract: Much has been written about measuring the feelings and impressions of women regarding their experience of miscarriage. According to the existential philosopher Heidegger life experiences such as the experience of a woman having a miscarriage can be interpreted and explained only in the context of the totality of the women’s experiences in the past, the present, and the future. Thirteen in-depth interviews with women about their experiences of miscarriage were interpreted with respect to Heidegger’s “Being and Time”. By using his interpretive phenomenology the essence of the miscarriage experience was explored and defined. The women’s feelings and impressions were influenced by past experiences of miscarriage, pregnancy, and births. Present conditions in the women’s lives contributing to the experience include their relationships, working situation, and living conditions. Each woman’s future prospects and hopes have been structurally altered with regard to their aspirations for their terminated pregnancy. The impact of miscarriage in a woman’s life was found to be more important than caregiver providers and society have previously attributed to in terms of scale. The results of the interviews reveal that the women believed that only women who had experienced their own miscarriages were able to fully understand this complex womanly experience and its effects on the woman who had miscarried.
Keywords: miscarriage, Heidegger, interpretive phenomenology, life experience, woman, emotional response
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