Make the Stillborn Baby and the Loss Real for the Siblings: Parents' Advice on How the Siblings of a Stillborn Baby Can Be Supported

J Perinat Educ. Spring 2012;21(2):90-8. doi: 10.1891/1058-1243.21.2.90.

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate parents' advice to other parents on the basis of their own experiences of siblings' taking leave of a stillborn sister or brother. The study was a Web questionnaire study of 411 parents. The thematic content analysis resulted in two categories: "Make the stillborn baby and the loss real for the siblings" and "Take the siblings' resources and prerequisites into account." Parents' advised that siblings should see and hold the stillborn baby and, thus, be invited and included into the leave-taking process with respect to the siblings' feelings, resources, and prerequisites. Based on these findings, professional caregivers can usefully be proactive in their approach to facilitate and encourage the involvement of siblings.

Keywords: perinatal loss; sibling; stillbirth; support after perinatal loss.