Pieta’s story (article and journal article) » stories of prenatal diagnosis

We know that prenatal diagnosis is more common than many think. Yet, we rarely hear the stories of the people that have received unexpected news about the health, development or genetics of their unborn baby. We wish to change that so parents no longer feel hidden or isolated.

We have collated parents stories to share with the variety of reactions, experiences and outcomes.


  • These stories appear in random order.
  • Stories which help one person, may be unhelpful for another.

Please use the dropdown category box to select a particular topic or to avoid other topics.

The decision-making category includes stories that reflect the vast array of potential experiences.

Click on the logo/image to go directly to the story, or select the View Profile link if you wish to read more about it first.

Please contact us to let us know about any other stories we should include here.

Photo of Pieta’s story (article and journal article)

About the resource

Pieta’s Story (Gidget Angel article)

A story of a prenatal diagnosis, decision making and continuing pregnancy.



Mental health nursing and the prenatal diagnosis of a congenital anomaly; a narrative of experience (Journal article)


“What is known on the subject

  • Many parents find out that their unborn baby has a difference in their health, development, or genetics.
  • This news is often unexpected and can be distressing and traumatic, which can lead to anxiety. There is a gap in support for parents.

What the paper adds to existing knowledge

  • This paper offers a story of the lived experience of the first-author, a mental health nurse who was told that her baby had a difference late in pregnancy.
  • The narrative moves through the anxiety and difficulties faced when falling between gaps in the systems.

What are the implications for practice

  • This paper identifies the need for more support for parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis.
  • This support is within the mental health nurse scope of practice across a range of settings and services.
  • People who have been given a psychiatric diagnosis have been excluded from other studies that explore the experience of the unexpected news of a congenital anomaly.
  • Research in this area is indicated.

Relevance to mental health nursing

  • Mental health nurses are well-positioned to address the gap in psychosocial support for parents who have received a prenatal diagnosis.
  • As clinicians who are recognized to deliver federally funded pregnancy support counselling, psychosocial support is within the mental health nurse scope of practice.
  • Some parents will require a higher level of support, assessment and intervention when they experience reactive mental illness or pre-existing mental illness is exacerbated.
  • Furthermore, people who have received a psychiatric diagnosis have been excluded from studies that explore the experience of receiving a prenatal diagnosis.
  • This exclusion has resulted in a gap in knowledge.”

(Blurb from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jpm.12645)