The CiaoLapo Volunteer

by Claudia Ravaldi

Why become a CiaoLapo volunteer?

Who are the CiaoLapo volunteers?

CiaoLapo volunteers are usually parents who have faced the experience of perinatal loss in the past and operators in the maternal-infant area. CiaoLapo volunteers believe that competent and respectful care of families affected by perinatal bereavement is possible and therefore they work with the aim of improving the criticalities present in our country.

The first CiaoLapo volunteers are Claudia and Alfredo, the two founders of the social promotion association and the CiaoLapo Foundation.

Claudia and Alfredo are two doctors and researchers who in 2006 faced the experience of perinatal death, a few hours before giving birth.

Thanks to their dual autobiographical and professional role, Claudia and Alfredo have developed over the years a network of volunteers and supporters designed to support parents and parents bereaved families and to reach out to health workers. In our country, the university education of health workers, doctors, obstetricians, nurses, psychologists is very poor with respect to the subject of death during pregnancy and after birth. Post-graduate training is often oriented to other issues: perinatal psychology and psychiatry, communication and psychotraumatology are still niche topics. The consequences of this formative poverty affect the quality of assistance and the well-being of the operators.

Quality of assistance and well-being of the operators are the basis of the activities of CiaoLapo and its volunteers.

CiaoLapo volunteers are part of a network made up of many shades of sensitivity, rich autobiographical ideas and important professional skills: thanks to voluntary work and the sharing of specific talents brought by each, over the years CiaoLapo has developed a model of perinatal bereavement intervention that brings story-based medicine and evidence-based medicine together. A new and revolutionary model, which is being replicated in other countries.

Our theoretical and intervention model

The CiaoLapo model includes health-related aspects, such as aspects relating to perinatal medicine and perinatal psychology, and psychosocial and educational aspects. The areas of application of the model range from the first aid kit for parents and family members to the support kit for the staff involved in the care, to the care of the family who returns home with empty arms to the protection of their mental and physical health. The model extends to the protection and support of subsequent pregnancies and the first thousand days of life of the new born.

The CiaoLapo model was originally based on perinatal scientific evidence, on the guidelines for respectful care and bereavement care of the most advanced countries and on the cognitive, systemic, Rogersian and psychodynamic studies that are the basis of Claudia Ravaldi ‘s training. . Over the years, mindfulness and psychotraumatology have been added to the model, which have made it possible to acquire a series of tools to support the different stages of bereavement and subsequent pregnancies .

The CiaoLapo model is a technical, scientific and humanistic model: a model that can be easily understood by doctors and midwives, psychologists and psychotherapists, but also, above all, by parents.

A model that puts the person at the center, with his pain but also with all his resources, and puts the operator at the center of the care and care process, providing everyone with all the possible tools to face this event (of life or professional) avoiding further additional traumatizations, unfortunately still frequent today when one ventures into perinatal care without appropriate tools.

What does the CiaoLapo volunteer do?

The CiaoLapo volunteer is a resource for his / her territory and is a promoter of awareness.

Our volunteers are real activists of the rights of bereaved parents and of operators called to offer support.

Advocacy activity is carried out with respect, competence and assertiveness , together with parents and together with operators and institutions: everyone can do their part, everyone can be a promoter of a change that sees us in a delay of thirty years compared to other advanced countries and today it can no longer be postponed.

Our volunteers have two rights / duties:

A) Study and personal training

Our volunteers study a lot, because the motto adopted by CiaoLapo is “primum non nocere”.

Studying is an enrichment, it is a right and a duty: our volunteers undertake to attend the monthly intervision meetings and to attend the annual refresher courses.

When this requirement is lacking, the appointment of volunteer ceases, any convention automatically ceases and any collaboration relationship ceases, to fully protect all the people involved.

B) All the volunteers, from the first to the last, lend their work free of charge in these areas:

1) initial reception by e-mail of parents, family members and operators, listening and offering of information and informative material;

2) meetings with the managers of the birth centers, hospitals and local consultants to illustrate the activities of ciaolapo and make the association’s free information and information material available to interested parties;

3) organization of awareness activities for October 15th, BabyLoss Awareness Day;

In the regions where we have been present for the longest time and where we have more trained volunteers , the CiaoLapo volunteers also organize:

4) face to face meetings by appointment to explain our intervention model and the resources available to people affected by perinatal bereavement and to operators interested in studying this topic in depth;

5) preliminary meetings at the self-help group for single people and couples who ask to enter, (first reception activity);

6) Facilitation of self-help group (GAMA) meetings

7) seminars on bereavement care and on the use of memory boxes for hospitals and clinics, lasting about 2 hours.

Each volunteer annually renews his availability and membership in the association and works in synergy with the other volunteers and scrupulously following the CiaoLapo statute.

CiaoLapo volunteers for 2020 are here .

We are very happy to be able to count on all these motivated people.

We are many, but we are not sufficient to cover the national needs.

If you want to make a difference and improve perinatal bereavement care in Italy, subscribe to our newsletter!

If you are a perinatal health professional or a health worker and wish to make your contribution to the cause of perinatal bereavement in Italy, train yourself and become part of our network of volunteer professionals, sign up for the newsletter to be informed of all our training activities .

If you are a parent who has lived this experience for at least 12 months and wish to support the cause by giving your practical and human contribution, write to .

How CiaoLapo works in local offices

In 15 cities we are present with our self-help groups (GAMA), which take place on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

In fifty cities we are present with local groups to raise awareness on issues related to perinatal bereavement, and annually we organize the day of BabyLoss Awareness Day, on October 15th.

In some cities we are working through volunteer parents to raise awareness in institutions, hospitals and counseling centers, providing them with information and support material for families.

In all cities where volunteers are present are planned periodic awareness-raising activities concerning hospitals, local authorities and institutions, including book presentations, organization of photographic exhibitions, film screenings with debate (see the presentation of the annual activities on the CiaoLapo regional pages on facebook for more details)

In all cities, volunteers promote October 15 (international day of mourning in pregnancy and after birth) and actively participate in the days that promote maternal and child well-being.

This page lists the names of the local referring volunteers ( the only ones authorized to promote CiaoLapo projects and offer support to parents in our groups, as they are specifically trained ) and their e-mail addresses.


In some regions (Sardinia, Abruzzo, Molise, Trentino Alto Adige, Val d’Aosta) we have been working for some time to open an information point, in other regions we are working to expand the network of operators; if you cannot find your region or you are far from the offices present, write to us at , and we will try to find a way to offer you remote support or send you to equally competent bodies and associations of our trust.

For any further requests and further information, you can write an email to the central address: , which is the email to which Dr. Claudia Ravaldi replies.


The self-help groups of CiaoLapo onlus were the first specific Italian groups for parents affected by perinatal bereavement, they are free for members and supervised in order to guarantee the best possible support.

Our affiliated professionals offer three free meetings to bereaved couples, when needed; the members of CiaoLapo onlus also have the possibility of having psychotherapy courses, only when really necessary, at discounted rates.

Local activities are possible thanks to membership fees and donations.

Together, we can do a lot.

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