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Loss and grief in the perinatal period 

Loss and grief in the perinatal period
Chapter:
Loss and grief in the perinatal period
Author(s):

Murray Enkin

, Marc J. N. C. Keirse

, James Neilson

, Caroline Crowther

, Lelia Duley

, Ellen Hodnett

, and Justus Hofmeyr

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780192631732.003.0049
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date: 23 October 2019

Much can be done to help a bereaved family cope with their loss and recover from their grief. The extent to which this is accomplished will depend on the importance that is attached to training in this area, and on the attitudes of individual professionals, both in the maternity unit and in the community. Parents need the opportunity to have contact with their ill child, and support for the mother to lactate if she wishes. Parents of stillborn or dying babies should similarly be encouraged to touch and hold their baby. Photographs of their baby will provide tangible evidence of the reality of the baby’s existence and loss. Giving photographs to parents of sick babies has also been shown to increase their visits to their babies in the first week of life.

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