Perinatal loss ¿Do we know how to communicate bad news?

Perinatal loss ¿Do we know how to communicate bad news?

Rivas, María Teresa (1), Arrabal, Rosa Beatriz (2), Sáez, Rosa (3)

(1) Supervisor Midwifery, Motril Hospital, (2) Midwife, Andalusian Service Health, (3) Midwifery, Motril Hospital

Bereavement is a series of normal and healthy responses in a person when a loss occurs. This research focuses on the information received from the obstetric team and more specifically their skills to communicate this kind of news. The relationship with parents is based on sensitivity, empathy, respect and understanding, as well as adequate verbal and nonverbal communication. There are phrases that are used to break the silence, although they seem comforting, they may only manage to minimize or invalidate the parents’ pain. The objective of this study it is to identify and classify the expressions/comments made by health professionals in a situation of perinatal loss.

Bibliographic review consulting databases: CINAHL, Medline, Index, Crochane, Google Scholar and PubMed. Search strategy: english and spanish, mainly qualitative studies, review of protocols and guidelines, from 2005.

The care received by a couple who has suffered a perinatal loss and the health professionals performance has a huge impact on the development of a healthy grieving. The way the bad news were given and received is a risk factor for the development of a complicated bereavement. Below are shown in the table 1 sentences/expresions that validate the loss and those that should be avoided.

Professionals who are part of the scenarios where perinatal losses occur should be aware that their communications skills can promote the development of a healthy grief with a series of humanized care intended on the one hand, to recognize and validate the loss, legitimizing the reactions and feelings of loss of couples and, on the other hand, to promote the empowerment of parents through a common space in which they participate more actively and make their own decisions in an informed manner.

Ethics statement:
No ethics approval required.

Key words: Perinatal bereavement. Perinatal loss. Stillbirth. Care bereavement.

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