Providing Comfort

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In the first few hours, 
– say, “I’m sorry”
– use the baby’s name
– reassure the mother she didn’t cause the death
– provide a private space for loved ones to wait or gather
– be mindful of non-verbal communication
– answer questions clearly and repeat important information

What to Say and Do
– be present
– give them time to make decisions
– remember fathers, partners, grandparents, siblings, and other loved ones
– connect them will peer support and other resources
– if you do not know the answer to their questions, find someone who does

Offer Time with Baby
– provide time for them to say ‘hello’ to their baby before saying ‘goodbye’
– create keepsakes for the entire family
– honor cultural and religious customs.  If you are unsure, it is okay to ask
– encourage them to take photos
– help them parents the baby by bathing, dressing, diapering, reading, etc

What Not to Say
– avoid medical terms, especially when referring to the baby
– don’t minimize their grief with comments such as , “You can have more children”, “At least she didn’t suffer”, or “It would have been worse if…”.  
– avoid religious comments such as “It is God’s plan”, or “You have an angel now.”
– don’t make decisions for them

At Discharge
– prepare the mother for postpartum changes (including milk coming in) and physical symptoms of grief
– make a note to follow up with the family in a few days and again a few weeks after they have been discharged
– attend the memorial services or other events to honor and remember their baby

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