Outreach To The Medical Community

Too many bereaved parents suffer in silence and alone, fearing that their grief is a weakness rather than an expression of the courage to cry. And too few hospitals and medical staff members are aware of bereavement issues and protocols, leaving parents unsure where to turn for help.  Obstetric medical offices are fully prepared in what to do with a healthy pregnancy and delivery.  But what about the twenty percent of the time where there is no happy ending?  Times are changing, but the silence persists. Parents and families are not encouraged to speak about the unborn child as happens when other loved ones die. There are few rituals to mark the loss.  Our presentation to the medical community addresses the following issues:

Best practices regarding supporting your patient through a pregnancy loss and subsequant pregnancies

Medical staff awareness and sensitivity training, including front desk staff

How to help bereaved parents honor their loss - memorial items - photos

Best practices for charts and files to indicate a loss

Real life stories of proper and inproper patient handling - what is hurtful and what is helpful to bereaved parents

The role of religion and cultural heritage in times of mourning

How to prevent "compassion fatigue"

Facts on Maternal Loss

Twenty five percent of mothers in 2001 in the United States had one or more fetal deaths before having a live birth.

                                                                                                                                      Source:   Price, Maternal and Child Health Journal, Nov. 2006

In the United States, fifteen to twenty percent of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage.  One in every one hundred fifty births results in stillbirth. Most researchers believe this number would be higher if not for inconsistincies in data reporting and collection.

                                                                                                                                      Source: Centers for Disease Control

Women who have had a stillbirth experience higher levels of depression and anxiety during subsequent pregnancies.

                                                                                                                                      Source:  Hughes, et al, British Medical Journal, June 1999

 

There are approximately six million pregnancies every year in the United States.  

                       

                        4,058,000 live births

                        1,995,840 pregnancy losses

Of these losses: 

                           600,000 women experienced loss through miscarriage

                        1,200,000 women experienced loss through termination (including therapeutic)

                             64,000 women experienced loss through ectopic pregnancy

                               6.000 women experienced loss through molar pregnancy

                              26,000 women experienced loss through still birth

                                                                                                                                       Source:  American Pregnancy Association 

 

 

 
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