The experience of men following stillbirth: the case of Israeli bereaved fathers

Nurit Glaser Chodik, Nehami Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This paper explores the impact of stillbirth among men in Israeli society, which is marked by strong pronatalist norms. It sought to evaluate the impact of perceived social expectations and interactions with family, friends, and healthcare providers on the experience of problematic levels of grief among men experiencing stillbirth. Methods: Thirty men after stillbirth were interviewed using semi-structured interviews and transcripts, which were analysed using the phenomenological approach. Results: Four core themes were identified. The first theme exposes the discrepancy between men’s pain on the one hand and the lack of awareness towards them on the other. The second theme found that not only is the attention of others directed almost exclusively towards their partners, men are expected to take on complex and demanding roles related to the loss. The lack of recognition, coupled with the need to perform the roles imposed upon them, seems to cause men to suppress their grief. The third theme was the lack of support from their parents, underlining their need for empathy and recognition in this family-oriented society. The fourth theme focused on the need for an emotional space of their own, in which they could be seen and listened to. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate that many most interviewees (25 out of 30) focused on their spouse’s grief and recovery, diminishing their own remorse while receiving little recognition and support. Our findings may contribute to the overarching understanding of this particular kind of loss, and promote the creation of specially targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Early online date18 Jul 2023
StateE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Men after stillbirth
  • disenfranchised grief
  • fathers
  • loss of a child
  • trauma


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