Stillbirth: professional support to help parents cope with loss
Muñoz Alba E, Valentin Ortiz A, Nieto Martínez C, Ortiz Ardual MJ, Peña Benito L, Losada Sanz A, Castro Martínez R.
Midwives, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
Stillbirth is traumatic for parents, who react in a complex way, and they could be emotionally scarred for life. In this paper we review the good practices to help parents cope with their loss.
Systematic search of four bibliographic databases: PubMed, Medline, PsycINFO and SciELO. 19 articles included, published from 2000 to 2019. We propose to include studies that report the good practices for coping with a perinatal loss and studies about the process of grief. Health Sciences Descriptors were used to clarify keywords.
The following interventions were included: to allow parents to talk about their feelings and get the frustration out; to offer them the option of seeing and holding their baby and storing keepsakes; to offer them support and listening; to offer them useful help; to allow minor children of the family to stay with their parents; to offer information about the grief and support group services; to avoid pharmacological interventions in the case of normal grief; consider a sign on the door for perinatal loss (it’s the way for staff to be forewarned).
Parents need not feel alone, so professional support and emotional support are both provided by midwives and other health care provider. Good practices are very important to help parents and family cope with their loss.
No ethics approval required