The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Child and Family Studies: Family Studies: M.S.


Child and Family Studies


School of Education

First Advisor

Glen Palm

Second Advisor

Kathy Ofstedal

Keywords and Subject Headings

Pregnancy, Lived Experience, Selective Reduction, Qualitative Study, Emotional Impact


With the rapid increase in Reproductive Technologies, there has been an 'increase in the number of Multifetal Pregnancy Reductions (MFPR) performed. Multifetal Pregnancy Reductions or MFPR , is a procedure that reduces the number of fetuses in a multiple pregnancy in hopes of increasing the chance for a positive outcome. It places parents in the very difficult position of determining which of their unborn children will live and which will die. While previous research has examined this issue in terms of psychological dysfunction and medical benefits, few have examined this issue from the viewpoint of the lived experience. In listening to the stories of the mothers who have chosen MFPR, one begins to understand this as a complex emotional journey to creating meaning out of their loss.

The use of phenomenological research methods allows the experience of MFPR to be told and understood in terms of a lived experience. As the stories unfold, common themes emerge. In recognizing these themes, the researcher was able to identify both unique and shared experiences. Mothers undergoing MFPR all shared similar experience in relationship to their choice however varied immensely in the meanings they assigned to those experiences. It was the journey of making meaning that became the focus of this research.