A qualitative study of mothers' and fathers' experiences of routine ultrasound examination in Sweden.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



to conceptualise mothers’ and fathers’ thoughts and feelings before, during and after the routine ultrasound examination during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Design, setting and participants:

a grounded theory study. Two to four weeks after their ultrasound examination, 22 Swedish mothers and 22 fathers were interviewed in their homes.


the basic social process was confirmation of a new life. The four categories, visualising—the evident option, overwhelming to see life; becoming a family and reassuring, all represent a time span in the parents’ process towards confirmation of a new life. The caregivers’ way of assisting and supporting the process by information and treatment was very important to parents.

Key conclusions and implications for practice:

as the ultrasound examination is perceived as a confirmation of a new life it is an extremely important milestone for both parents so the father should be encouraged to participate. It is an important and unique event for both women and men in their process towards becoming parents. This process was largely dependent on the treatment the parents had received during the examination and the information given. The findings of this study are of interest to midwives and others who perform ultrasound examinations as it explains why adequate time must be allowed for the examination and the importance of the information given before hand. When introducing new forms of fetal diagnosis in the future it should be kept in mind that this might irrevocably be accepted by parents who long for confirmation of a new life.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Nursing


  • Ultra sound, Pregnancy, Mothers’ and fathers’ experiences, Confirmation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-344
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Nursing (Closed 2012) (013065000)

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