Saturday, September 30, 2006

5 Tips to Raise Awareness about Infant and Pregnancy Loss

I wrote these tips specifically for medical professionals in the hopes that just one practitioner's sensitivity levels would go through the roof!

• “It,” “fetus,” “fetal demise,” “GBS baby,” “SIDS case,” “aborted fetus” and other medical jargon are unacceptable terminology in the parent’s presence. Instead use the baby’s name or terms like “baby boy,” “baby,” “little one” or similar.
• Patient care involves the physical and mental. Don’t get so busy tending to the physical that you avoid taking the time to just be there and listen.
• Talk to the patient about what they can expect to see, feel and hear before, during and after a miscarriage or stillbirth delivery. Describe how the baby will look and what the parent can expect from labor pain and the procedure for delivery.
• Never just hand a stillborn baby to his mother without cleaning and swaddling the baby in a blanket. Offer to take pictures. The parents will value these pictures later.


Christy said...

When I lost my angel, Lily Grace, I had 4 months before her birth to bond knowing she would never leave the hospital. It was also 4 months to do alot of research and think of how I wanted her farewell to go. I found an extraordinary poem that seemed to sum up just how I felt. I put it in Lily's birth/death announcements handed out at her funeral. It is called "Just Say I'm Sorry" by Gail Fosolo.....

Just Say "I'm Sorry"

You don't know how I feel; please don't tell me that you do

There's just one way to know--have you lost a child too?

"You'll have another child"--must I hear this every day?

Can I get another mother, too, if mine should pass away?

Don't say it was "God's will"--that's not the God I know.

Would God, on purpose, break me heart, then watch as my tears flow?

"You have an angel in heaven--a precious child above."

But tell me, to whom here on earth shall I give this love?

"Aren't you better yet?" Is that what I heard you say?

No! A part of my heart aches and I'll always feel some pain.

You think that silence is kind, but it hurts me even more.

I want to talk about my child who has gone through death's door.

Don't say these things to me, although you do mean well.

They do not take my pain away; I must go through this hell.

I will get better, slow but sure--and it helps to have you near.

But a simple "I'm sorry you lost your child" is all I need to hear.

--Gail Fasolo--

Sharee said...

Thank you Christy for sharing such an appropriate poem! How many times have others said those exact words to me? I can't count that high!