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Bereavement Counselling

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Bereavement Counselling
Post Mortem
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This is an opportunity to provide parents with information and support, as well as reassurance and the space and time in which to make important decisions without outside pressure or constraints.

Counselling, in the case of abnormalities especially, involves a great deal of information for the parents to absorb. The findings and implications for the baby and pregnancy need to be clearly explained. Other tests may be available to the parents to increase the certainty of the initial findings, which then need to be explained. Options that are available to the parents need to be outlined. There may also be implications for future pregnancies.

It is important that the parents feel supported in their decisions, whether it is to terminate a pregnancy for an abnormality or to consent to a post mortem for an unexplained stillbirth. A lot of the initial discussion may not be remembered so it was suggested that parents are given a contact number for a named person to ring at any time to ask questions. There may also be a support group that they can be put in touch with that is applicable to their circumstances for outside help and assistance. Informing their GP and community midwife will increase their support network and may avoid unnecessary and difficult explanations for the parents in the future.

  • Always write down basic points for the parents to take away with them for future reference
  • Offer an early appointment to come back and ask further questions or follow-up
  • Inform GP and community midwife
  • Provide information leaflets and numbers of relevant support group


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