The process of implementing quality programs such as BFHI/BFI may open pathways with the intent to improve practice in areas related to perinatal health care. Relentlessly working towards supporting all families in a meaningful way, according to their current situation.
While usually a happy moment, the event surrounding birth can sometimes be sad. This certainly emphasizes the significance of providing high-quality care to bereaved families.
Loss and the response to loss can take many forms.
Having a better understanding of the grieving process notably in the neonatal context, may help health care providers support bereaved women/parents and families.
Imparting knowledge helps to strengthen the role of health professionals in providing bereavement support and in counselling with a show of empathy and sensitivity; helping families cope.
Providing bereavement support may resemble:
· acknowledging—the parent’s unique response amidst the variety of responses to grief
· knowing how to share information—while remaining sensitive to the parent’s emotions
· providing practical help—in accordance with the families’ cultural beliefs
· actively listening—without silencing the parent
· putting forth expected behavior—an older child’s reaction, for example
· referring to appropriate resources—in the community
It is understood by some that the BFHI/BFI implementation process nourishes the quest for further knowledge; providing an opportunity to meet inspiring people: a perinatal bereavement champion, for example. This team member may serve as a role model to help improve practice and encourage staff to support each other in situations of grief.
May compassion define your journey.
Manon Campagna, IBCLC
Hug, L., Mishra, A., Lee, S., You, D., Moran, A., Strong, K. L., & Cao, B. (2020). A neglected tragedy The global burden of stillbirths: report of the UN inter-agency group for child mortality estimation, 2020.
Bakhbakhi, D., Siassakos, D., Lynch, M., Timlin, L., Storey, C., Heazell, A., ... & Gold, K. (2019). PARENTS 2 study: consensus report for parental engagement in the perinatal mortality review process. Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 54(2), 215-224.
How to talk to your children about the death of a loved one. (n.d.). UNICEF Parenting. Retrieved December 16, 2021, from https://www.unicef.org/parenting/child-care/how-talk-your-children-about-death-loved-one
Cavuto, K. (2020). Why Breastfeeding Grief and Trauma Matter, by Amy Brown, PhD.Published under the title ‘Tears in Her Eyes” in the anthology “Musings on Mothering” 2012 (http://mothersmilkbooks.gostorego.com/) as a fundraiser for LLL GB by Teika Bellamy (Editor).
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Last Updated: September 2018