Mater Mothers Perinatal Loss Service
Kouzoukas, Eleni (1), Norman, Belinda (2)
(1) Pastoral Care Practitioner, Mater Mothers Hospital, (2) Perinatal Loss Coordinator, Mater Mothers Hospital
The Mater Mothers’ Hospital is one of Australia’s largest tertiary providers, delivering over 10,000 live babies every year. It is also the home of one of the most successful Perinatal Loss services in Australia. The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to critically evaluate the exclusive Perinatal Loss Service and the care experiences of families who have experienced a loss (2) to provide an overview of a holistic approach model of care and its benefits. It aims to primarily care for the human spirit by addressing the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. Perinatal Loss does not discriminate against race, culture or age and with this knowledge, the service equips all families, through evidenced based care, to manage their grief and loss.
Methods: A quality assurance questionnaire covering topics such as: memory creation, spiritual needs/rituals, education and critical care, provided during time in hospital, is sent to families within three months of their loss.
Results: The findings indicate the Mater Mothers Perinatal Loss service is exceptional in the way in which bereaved families are cared for. 95% surveyed were extremely satisfied 90% found memory creation and rituals performed were meaningful in their grieving and healing.
Conclusion: The implications of this study proves that the tools used benefits the families as they journey forward and heal after their loss. Given the nature of the traumatic experience that these families have endured, as well as the widely differing needs of a culturally, linguistically and socio-economically diverse population, there are challenges. Some of these include the low response rates to the survey, as well as varying individual needs relating to marginalised populations.
Ethics Statement: The Mater Mother’s Perinatal Loss service sought the advice and support of the Mater Research HREC Committee. Participation in the study was voluntary and questionnaire responses were provided anonymously.