’Extensively referenced and having an exhaustive index and appendices of useful organisations, this is an excellent resource not only for practical use in the clinical setting but for those researching and studying pregnancy loss, the dying and death of a baby’
Title: Pregnancy loss and the death of a baby: Guidelines for professionals 4th Edition
Authors: Amanda Hunter, Judith Schott, Alix Henley, Nancy Kohner
Reviewer: Elisabeth McNair-Johnston. RN RM (Former Project Midwife)
What was it like?
This latest edition of a much respected book about pregnancy loss and the death of a baby is unquestionably the most thorough resource of its kind. While aimed at a UK readership it gives great insight generally into baby loss at any stage, and how those caring for them can provide sensitive and compassionate care to all involved. It is systematic in its attempt to address each aspect of care with mother and partner centred focus, embracing gender, extended family, cultural and religious diversity, even disability, throughout.
What were the highlights?
No aspect has been left out. Leading with its principles of bereavement care, its multiple sections walk the reader through every step of the loss of a baby from birth to grave. Attention is given to parents’ perspectives and collaborative working with healthcare professionals and others active in this sensitive area of care, although no mention has been made specifically of social workers who may contribute. This extends to sections dedicated to those involved in the management and after-care of baby loss such as funeral directors. The book’s broad scope also covers the provision of training and support for staff involved.
This edition reflects recently published research and underlines the importance of the patient-centred and holistic approach of care. They draw attention to recently endorsed practices and studies into stillbirth as in the Lancet Stillbirth Series.
Strengths & weaknesses
Parents look for answers and expect well informed and current information from those involved with their care and the guidelines offer much in respect of this. Much effort has been spent not just addressing the grief involved with the loss of a baby before, during and after birth but all the practicalities that would be distressing for the parent to consider. It allows the professionals to ensure each step goes as informatively and sensitively as possible. The text includes comments by parents who have suffered this loss and telling how it felt, helping prepare the novice who might be dealing with their first bereavement care.
Extensively referenced and having an exhaustive index and appendices of useful organisations, this is an excellent resource not only for practical use in the clinical setting but for those researching and studying pregnancy loss, the dying and death of a baby. And while some hospitals may have their own forms regarding this aspect of pregnancy loss, the guidelines provide useful examples of pro forma documentation.
Who should read it?
The book is an essential tool not only for obstetric, midwifery and other healthcare professionals but also for those outside the clinical setting. The range of people parents may have to engage with highlights how much effort has been included to ensure that everyone who may be involved is mentioned.
Sands has made its Guidelines conveniently available in paperback, PDF and ePub formats. It is modestly priced which should suit most budgets.
pregnancy loss and the death of a baby