Memory Box – The Fathers and perinatal mourning

by Claudia Ravaldi

A new research by CiaoLapo Onlus dedicated to fathers affected by perinatal bereavement.

In our country, perinatal bereavement remains a niche topic, which is addressed and deepened above all by those affected by it.

Furthermore, despite the efforts of individual operators, in most of our hospitals there is no support path after the event.

When this path is available, it is often reserved for mothers only. This path is rarely offered to couples. A space for fathers, to date, is extremely rare in local services and hospitals, not to mention exceptional.

The consequence is soon said: couples are discharged with some generic indications for support aimed at the bereavement of the mother, or of the couple.

Fathers often do not have access to services, due to an old prejudice according to which men “suffer less”, their bereavement is “less serious” and in any case more easily resolved.

The international scientific community, on the other hand, suggests greater attention to the couple and the father and asks us to consider the short, medium and long-term consequences of bereavement on the psychic, physical and social well-being of the individual members of the couple and the mutual influence that bereavement of each member of the couple has over the other.

The father, therefore, is not an entity far from the process of mourning, but co-protagonist alongside the mother of the process of elaboration.

In Italy the research on fathers in critical situations are few, and often concern few cases: the institutions and health agencies, however, to change the treatment pathways ask for “scientific evidence” and numbers that represent the Italian population.

For this reason we have decided to open a new research, dedicated exclusively to fathers affected by perinatal bereavement, their reactions, their opinions, their memories, the difficulties related to the loss and their psychophysical well-being.

We realize that we have developed a demanding research, which takes about 20 minutes to complete, but we trust in the generosity of the fathers who over the years have come to CiaoLapo and have shared thoughts, emotions and difficulties with us: even fathers have a lot to tell about the experience of losing their baby. Fathers also need to be heard and supported. What kind of support is most useful or most required is the subject of our research, along with the quality of care received and the quality of life after perinatal bereavement.

The study was designed by Claudia Ravaldi, (for the past 20 years I have been designing and writing and publishing studies on life events, stress, the prevention of mental illness), and by Alfredo Vannacci, who, as a father affected by perinatal bereavement , he also filled out the questionnaire first, and invites all dads to do the same.

The link for the questionnaire is this: https://it.surveymonkey.com/r/memoryboxpadri

We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Claudia and Alfredo

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