Assisting Perinatal Death 2023 – The Notebook

by Alfredo Vannacci

The new edition of “Assisting Perinatal Death – The Notebook,” aimed at hospital perinatal health professionals and obstetrics, gynecology and nursing students, is out.

The notebook released in 2018 was a very short 37-page compendium: in 5 years, the notebook reached more than 3,000 practitioners who used it to fix key concepts of perinatal death care, with a rating of 4.7 out of 5.

What has changed from 2018 to the present in perinatal bereavement care?

In the past five years, numerous international scientific works in which we participated for our country, the World Health Organization has issued a position statement on the need to ensure respectful care and support for all women with abortion and perinatal death, and finally, in February 2023, our country also drafted recommendations for perinatal death care.. In light of these important milestones and changes, and in light of the extensive work of discussion with hundreds of perinatal health workers and practitioners during the memory box courses, I thought it was necessary to completely rewrite the notebook and enrich it with all the new insights.

Assisting Perinatal Death, in the new 2023 edition, is a 150-page workbook designed to facilitate the work of health care providers at the most critical moments of hospital care, from an international guidance-compliant and trauma-informed perspective.

The notebook is divided into ten steps, deepened by practical examples, testimonies, and worksheets: each individual part of care is explored and examined in order to provide respectful, empathetic, and trauma-oriented care based on international guidelines and the model developed over the past 15 years by the CiaoLapo Association.

The notebook helps to:

  • Communicating effectively and respectfully with bereaved parents
  • Understand the characteristics and stages of perinatal bereavement
  • Recognizing and managing trauma in families and caregivers
  • Arrange admission and delivery appropriately
  • Fostering shared choices with parents
  • offer quality bereavement care
  • Facilitate the meeting between the parents and the child
  • Collect the child’s memories in the memory box
  • Ensure hospital-territory follow-up and intake

But it doesn’t end there! The notebook contains the first Italian version of CLASS, the Checklist (CiaoLapo Stillbirth Support Checklist), which we developed in 2016 to assess the quality of perinatal death care in hospital wards.

The CLASS Checklist consists of 60 key questions that enable providers to check in real time whether international recommendations and good clinical practices have been met and organize care in a comprehensive and comprehensive manner.

The CLASS Checklist, designed with health care providers and bereaved parents, can be used both to monitor the level of care provided by hospital departments and to promote changes when appropriate, and to measure the care received by bereaved parents.

Practitioners and bereaved parents have a great responsibility, that of co-constructing respectful care in perinatal bereavement in our country: this can only be done together, with constant work of confrontation, respect and growth.

With this in mind, the notebook serves as a mediator to facilitate dialogue and improve care whenever possible.

The book is the result of my personal and professional experience, but also the contribution of the many fellow CiaoLapo friends who shared their knowledge and feeling with me. I thank all of them for making this project possible.

The notebook is written with hospital workers, those involved in the training of midwives, physicians, nurses and psychologists in mind, and all those who want to deepen their knowledge on this very important topic of perinatal health care.

I invite you to read the book excerpt available on Amazon and leave a review if you have read the notebook and found it useful for your training and clinical practice.

Finally, I would like to remind you that CiaoLapo offers the free training course for Memory Box hospital staff on the topic of perinatal death. Each hospital department that completes the course will also receive, along with the first supply of memory boxes, a copy of the notebook to consult as needed.

You can find all the information about the free course and register footprint on the dedicated page.


Assisting Perinatal Death is published by CiaoLapo Editions;

graphic design by Igattiballano

cover image by Chiara Cunati


You may also like