Attending perinatal death

by Claudia Ravaldi

Assisting perinatal death: The role of hospital staff in supporting bereaved parents and family members

The death of a child in the perinatal period is a serious life event, which leaves an indelible mark on the lives of parents and their families.
The loss of a child is at the same time a difficult event to deal with even for the operators who work alongside the parents during diagnosis or at the time of birth: losing an unborn or newborn child is an unnatural, humanly painful and high emotional impact, for those who receive the unfortunate diagnosis and for those called to assist the various stages of the treatment process, from diagnosis to discharge.
The CiaoLapo Onlus Association ( has structured an intervention model designed to improve the skills and internal resources of the operators and to offer the maximum possible support to parents and bereaved families.
This document describes the basic steps in the model, those from which every operator should be able to start before assisting a bereaved family.
The purpose of this short text is to provide specific information to professionals and health workers to accompany the affected families in the best possible way: the aim is to encourage carers to take an active and participatory role in the emotional and relational care of parents.


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