Caring for families experiencing stillbirth: Evidence-based guidance for maternity care providers

This paper presents the implications for practice that were developed from the review project to promote and inform meaningful and culturally appropriate evidence-informed practice amongst maternity care providers caring for mothers and families who experience stillbirth. The implications for practice were developed from the findings of the review and expert consensus. These recommendations may be used to guide the actions, communication, and behaviours of maternity care providers providing care to parents who experience stillbirth.

Background

Evidence-based guidance is needed to inform care provided to mothers and families who experience stillbirth. This paper focuses upon how meaningful and culturally appropriate care can be provided to mothers and families from when they are informed that their baby will be stillborn to many years after the experience. Avoidable suffering may be occurring in the clinical setting.

Aims

To promote and inform meaningful and culturally appropriate evidence-informed practice amongst maternity care providers caring for mothers and families who experience stillbirth.

Methods

A comprehensive systematic review was conducted which primarily synthesised relevant qualitative research studies. An expert advisory group comprised of stillbirth researchers, clinicians, and parents who have experienced stillbirth provided guidance for the review and the development of implications for practice.

Findings

Grieving parents want staff to demonstrate sensitivity and empathy, validate their emotions, provide clear, information, and be aware that the timing of information may be distressing. Parents want support and guidance when making decisions about seeing and holding their baby. Sensitivity, respect, collaboration, and information are essential throughout the experience of stillbirth. Culturally appropriate care is important and may require staff to accommodate different cultural practices.

Conclusion

The findings of the review and expert consensus inform the provision of meaningful and culturally appropriate care for mothers and families that have experienced stillbirth. Evidence informed implications for practice are provided to guide the actions, communication, and behaviours of maternity care providers.

Journal: ‘Women and Birth’ – The Journal of the Australian College of Midwives.

Researchers: Micah D.J. Peters, Karolina Lisy, Dagmara Riitano, Zoe Jordan, Edoardo Aromataris (The Joanna Briggs Institute, Faculty of Health Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia)

 The full report can be purchased here:

http://www.womenandbirth.org/article/S1871-5192%2815%2900080-3/abstract

Other papers/mentions include:

Peters MDJ, Lisy K, Riitano D, Jordan Z, Aromataris E. Caring for families experiencing stillbirth: Evidence-based guidance for maternity care providers. Women and Birth. 2015. 28(4):272-278. doi: 10.1016/j.wombi.2015.07.003

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871519215000803

Peters MDJ, Lisy K, Riitano D, Jordan Z, Aromataris E. Providing meaningful care for families experiencing stillbirth: a meta-synthesis of qualitative evidence. Journal of Perinatology. 2016. 36(1)3-9. doi: 10.1038/jp.2015.97

http://www.nature.com/jp/journal/v36/n1/full/jp201597a.html

Lisy K, Peters MDJ, Riitano D, Jordan Z, Aromataris E. Provision of Meaningful Care at Diagnosis, Birth, and after Stillbirth: A Qualitative Synthesis of Parents’ Experiences. Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care. 2016. (E-pub ahead of print). doi: 10.1111/birt.12217

https://selfpropelled.com.au/2015/11/1791/

 

 

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