CLINICAL STAFF

A common concern from many well-meaning professionals is that they feel they don’t know what to say or how to help the bereaved parents. When a child dies it is an overwhelmingly sad time for the bereaved family and for those who care about them. Even sadder is when fear drives health care professionals into silence and they say and do nothing at all. As Parent Panels are offered in the community, 3Hopeful Hearts will add suggestions directly from parents on how professionals can improve the compassionate care provided after a perinatal loss has occurred.

DO SAY
• “I don’t know what to say”
• “I know how much you wanted this baby”
• “I’m so sorry”
• “What can I do to help support you?”

DON’T SAY
• “This happens to (this %) of patients”
• “It’s just your body’s way of ending an unhealthy pregnancy”
• “At least you didn’t get to know the baby”
• “Be grateful for the baby you already had”
• “It happened for a reason”
• “I know how you feel”
• “You already have other healthy kids”
• “There probably was something wrong with the baby”
• “It was for the best”
• Religion-based comments: “It was God’s will. Now you have an angel, etc”
• “You can always try again”
• “At least the loss happened early on”
• Anything that will trivialize the loss

“Do not avoid my eyes. Do not walk away from me. I am a mother. Come close, sit down and listen.”

-Shelly Wagner