do you allow fetal demise infants to stay with mother in her postpartum room? - page 2

Hi all, I am the bereavement nurse specializing in fetal demise/neonatal death. Our hospital policy has changed to be more accommodating to our families that have fetal/neonatal loss. To... Read More

  1. by   pkapple
    I worked with fetal demise infants/mothers, we did the photography and allowed family to hold the infant. How far along do you consider allowing for this process? 12 weeks, 16 weeks, age is a consideration. We had a grandmother who insisted on holding a 10 weeker-Mom was bleeding heavily during the abortion(natural).

    On another thought--how long are other deaths allowed to stay on the floors? Any loss, every loss is devastating to someone. Can the 80 year old widow stay with her husband of over 60 years, the mother of a 3 year old, the 10 year old child who just lost a mom? Maybe hospital policy can help direct your time frames.
  2. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Days? No, but hours to a day, sure. I do know, the baby's body is kept in our pathology room (cold storage) for a while for when the families do choose to see/hold their lost child. Usually this is only done for 24-48 hours, however. Not for days.

    (For all the reasons already mentioned).


    Every family should be given the opportunity to grieve and be linked with bereavement services/clergy at their choosing. Some need these services, others find they rely on their own resources at home. Either way, there is no right way to grieve, obviously.
  3. by   hot_txlatina
    Im not a nurse .. but i think it is unhealthy to have the dead baby for days.. I cant imagine having your job... My friend had to abort her baby because it was very deformed.. I cant imagine how that feels.. its very sad.. I try to comfort her but i really dont know what to say.. anyways she got to say goodbye .. I think leaving the baby for days only prolongs the grieving process..
  4. by   rpbear
    I am not sure that you can totally relate a stillbirth with that of another death. With a stillbirth one of the few memories that the family will have of that baby is the moment of birth and the few hours after, thats all! Other deaths people have good times, happy times to look back on and with a stillbirth you only have that moment, just "the goodbye". Remember this when taking care of these special families.
  5. by   htrn
    I work in a smaller hospital - about 500 births a year. We really do whatever we can to accomodate families that have a fetal/infant loss. We allow the family to decide when and how long they want to see the baby, we give mom and other family members the option of participating in bathing, dressing, foot and handprinting etc... We have, I think, a very good bereavement program here.

    We allow the infant to remain in the room as long as mom wants. We have kept infant in a curtained off area of the nursery for several hours with a radio tuned to a particular station as mom requested. On occasion, we have a mom that can't stand the thought of their little one going to the morgue, so we have put the bassinet in an empty room, turned off the heat and opened the windows (mid January in upper mid-west) - then would wrap baby in blankets from warmer when mom or family wanted to see the infant.

    Most of our moms only stay less than 24 hrs. If by c-section, some only stay 24 hrs, some a little longer. We give them the option of staying in the birth center or going to the floor.

    I think everyone grieves differently and needs as much support as possible from their nurses. We do not rush them to get the baby to the morgue, but because of the short lengths of stays, it's usually not a problem. We do tell them that if they decide to send baby to morgue, we will bring the baby back up anytime they want - this is usually the House Charge Nurse or Night Nursing Supervisor that does this.

    We also have several nurses that do well with and are willing to take patients that have experienced a loss - we would never force a nurse into this assignment - it's just not good care for the patient.
  6. by   she.lpn
    I'm not an OB nurse but experienced a neonatal loss my son was 18 days old. I would not want a nurse who couldn't or did not want to deal with loss. Even after having him the post-partum nurse was great my baby stayed in the NICU so even that feels like some sort of loss. Its not healthy to keep the baby for days after death, everytime mom would wak up the baby would not. thats my opinion

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