Guidelines for health care professionals supporting families experiencing a perinatal loss Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Guidelines for health care professionals supporting families experiencing a perinatal loss Deck (15):

What is the definition of physical loss?

A physical loss is the loss of something tangible, and often others recognize physical losses.


What is the definition of symbolic loss?

A symbolic loss is the loss of something intangible, which is seldom recognized by others as a loss generating feelings that require processing


What is the definition of grief?

The process of experiencing psychological, behavioural, social and physical reactions to loss. It is a continuing process involving many changes over time. It is a natural reaction, and its absence may be abnormal and indicative of pathology. It is a reaction to all types of loss, not just death, and it is dependent on an individual’s unique perception of loss and does not need social recognition or validation by others


What is the definition of mourning?

The cultural and/or public display of grief through one’s behaviour. It is the process through which the resolution of grief may be accomplished.


What is the definition of bereavement?

The entire process precipitated by the loss of a loved one through death


What are the three phases of grief and mourning?

1. Avoidance or protest
2. Confrontation and disorganization
3. Accommodation or reorganization


What is included in the psychological process of becoming a parent?

1. Feelings of procreativity and generativity
2. A sense of continuity through the generations
3. Fears and expectations about the coming baby
4. Effect on expectant parents’ relationship
5. Response to quickening and bodily changes
6. Attachment to real and idealized aspects of the infant
7. Self-esteem building


What is the average time parents take to process grief?

2-4 years


What are the six "R" processes of mourning?

1. Recognizing the loss
2. Reacting to the separation
3. Recollecting and re-experiencing the deceased
4. Relinquishing old attachments
5. Readjusting to the new world
6. Reinvesting


What are important actions to take during and after the death of a baby?

Assure parents that it is normal to feel uncomfortable at this time

Allow parents to spend as much time as they need with their baby

Make repeated offers for holding the baby

Name the baby

Provide privacy, but do not abandon the parents

Encourage relatives and friends to see the baby, according to the parents’ wishes

Warn about gasping and muscle contractions

Reassure parents that their baby was not alone, not afraid and not in pain at the time of death

Reassure parents that nothing more could be done

Provide mementos to create memories

Ensure that spiritual support is available

Take pictures

Explain the need and procedure for an autopsy

Explain options and procedures for memorial services


What percentage of couples have separation after perinatal loss?



What are the goals of the health care team?

1. help family start a normal grief reaction
2. actualize the loss
3. acknowledge their grief
4. assure the family that their feelings are normal
5. meet the particular needs of each family


What to say and do during perinatal death?

1. Use simple and straightforward language
2. Be comfortable showing emotions
3. Listen to the parents and touch the baby
4. "I'm sorry"
5. "I wish things would have ended differently"
6. "I don't know what to say"
7. "I feel sad" or "I am sad for you"
8. "Do you have any questions?"
9. "We can talk again later"
10. Answer questions honestly


What NOT to say or do during perinatal death?

1. "It's best this way"
2. "It could be worse"
3. "You can have more children"
4. "Time will heal"
5. "It's good your baby died before you got to know him or her well"
6. Do not use medical jargon
7. Do not argue with parents
8. Do not avoid questions


What are the five critical attributes of the attentive care provider?

1. Knowing
2. Caring
3. Doing for
4. Enabling
5. Maintaining belief

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