Raising the bar: development of a perinatal bereavement programme

Int J Palliat Nurs. 2019 Dec 2;25(12):578-586. doi: 10.12968/ijpn.2019.25.12.578.


The care a family receives at the time of perinatal loss can have a significant and lasting impact, hence it is important for healthcare providers to offer quality care that will meet the family's needs. Our hospital embarked on a journey to develop a perinatal bereavement programme that would give compassionate and excellent care to all families who experienced perinatal loss at any time during their pregnancy. Components of our bereavement programme include leadership, administrative and financial support, communication, well-educated and supported staff, and a process for individualised care. A perinatal bereavement programme can help institutions, large or small, to provide quality care for bereaved families and help them through this difficult experience. The purpose of this article is to discuss hospital-wide bereavement care, both on a large scale, detailing the specifics of programme development, and on a smaller scale, individualised care for families.

Keywords: Bereavement care; Compassionate care; Nursing care; Perinatal loss.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Bereavement*
  • Budgets
  • Clinical Competence
  • Hospice Care / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inservice Training
  • Leadership
  • Life Change Events
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / education
  • Parents*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Perinatal Death*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Support
  • United States