Thoughts on working with a laboring patient with a deceased baby? - page 5

Hello. I was just curious to get some opinions as what anyone thinks of working with a laboring patient whose baby has died. How often do you encounter this? Do you tend to shy away from these... Read More

  1. by   eltrip
    My SIL & my brother experienced this tragedy a few years ago. I was present for the birth. It was a horrible experience overall for my SIL. She labored naturally & had little pain relief. My brother & I held my nephew for a time afterward. My SIL wasn't up for it.

    Three months later, a friend at work gave birth at our facility. The child died a few hours later. I'd never seen a code on a newborn before...never want to see it again. My friend blamed herself for her child's death...and then the hospital gossip afterward, my word, it was terrible for her!

    Both events have, naturally, left their emotional scars on all involved. My friend has had another child. My brother & my SIL have yet to conceive again. These memories still bring tears to my eyes.
  2. by   fergus51
    Quote from CNM2B
    Is there a time limit on how long the mother is allowed to be with her baby? Does this seem wrong to you if there is?
    We've never limited the time a woman spends with a deceased child. I can remember one case in particular where we were DESPERATE for a bed and we actually sent a healthy laboring woman out of town to another hospital and another pp patient to a surg unit and her baby to the NICU rather than rush a woman who was holding her dead child to get off the floor. I think that was the one moment in my career that I am the most proud of.
  3. by   CA CoCoRN
    There's generally not a time limit, per se, but there is a time limit on the fetus depending on the age of the fetus at time of birth. A full term baby will "last" longer and not start to get "weird" to the parents longer than a pre-viable- or more preterm fetus.

    Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) the 27/34 weeker which had been deceased for a while in utero was already deep into the process of decomposition. That fact helped the family to understand why we had to get the baby to the morgue and to the refrigerator. And also since it was less "baby-like" they were less inclined to want to hold on to it longer in their room.

    However, the full termer who was delivered by rep. c/s...as I said, I let that baby stay in the room for about 4 hours. That's longer than our unwritten policy...but I felt it was necessary since it was such a shock. And since that baby had passed only hours before, it hadn't yet begun any obvious (to family) decomposition.
  4. by   Energizer Bunny
    Quote from fergus51
    We've never limited the time a woman spends with a deceased child. I can remember one case in particular where we were DESPERATE for a bed and we actually sent a healthy laboring woman out of town to another hospital and another pp patient to a surg unit and her baby to the NICU rather than rush a woman who was holding her dead child to get off the floor. I think that was the one moment in my career that I am the most proud of.
    And so you should be Fergus!
  5. by   fergus51
    I should have said I was proud of the whole group. The unit manager never complained about having to transport a woman out. The hospital that received her never complained about having another patient. The PP nurse never complained about having to go to the surg unit to assess the woman there. The NICU never complained about having a healthy baby to look after. And neither family complained about the situation. All we had to say was "We have a family who have experienced a loss and they need the room for the time being". It was comforting to see how people can pull together.
  6. by   Energizer Bunny
    Fergus, I hope you don't think I was being sarcastic. I guess I assumed you meant your whole group. I think it was fabulous!
  7. by   fergus51
    No, I got ya, I just thought I should add that bit. I have worked at a number of hospitals since becoming a nurse, but none of them compare to that hospital as far as teamwork went. The nurses there were amazing and focused on what was important (patient care and taking care of eachother!) and I miss them.
    Last edit by fergus51 on May 25, '04
  8. by   Browneyedgirl
    My brother and his wife lost their baby yesterday. this was her 7th pregnancy with only 2 children that she has carried to term. The baby was due in September. The hospital kept her in the labor/delivery/recovery area for her entire hospital stay. The nurses seemed very accomodating and sweet...yet, one called down the hall to shut the door because they were rolling to delivery with someone else. and a few doors down we heard the healthy cry of a newborn. SIL vaginally delivered her 1 lb 11oz baby yesterday evening..sometime after 6 and left the hospital around noon today.

    I will be attending a funeral Tuesday. Please if you pray.....remember our family.
  9. by   TammyWilson808
    Quote from kar212
    Hello. I was just curious to get some opinions as what anyone thinks of working with a laboring patient whose baby has died. How often do you encounter this? Do you tend to shy away from these patients (if you have any choice in the matter)? Do you encourage the mother to hold the baby?
    I don't work in labor and delivery, but I have delivered a stillborn and had excellent nurses take care of me. I was just wondering what some of you thought.
    Dear Kar212,

    I think we communicated through another thread. But I am an L&D RN from Hawaii and we, unfortunately, have our share of fetal demises. I can only imagine your pain and please do accept my sympathy.

    I am so very happy that nurses were excellent in their care of you and your family through your difficult time.

    I don't shy away from an important work that we do---our support through the actual labor and delivery, and even more important, during the immediate postpartum and thereafter makes our job more vital than ever. We observe the whole family unit to see that they appropriately grieve and support each other. We connect them with professionals in the community that can get further help.

    Even without life, our baby angels that we have the honor and privilege of receiving here have a reason for being here. They are perfect angels---please do not think of them as any less.

    I do hope in time your heart aches less, and I wish for you peace.

    Much Aloha,

    Tammy
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Quote from Browneyedgirl
    My brother and his wife lost their baby yesterday. this was her 7th pregnancy with only 2 children that she has carried to term. The baby was due in September. The hospital kept her in the labor/delivery/recovery area for her entire hospital stay. The nurses seemed very accomodating and sweet...yet, one called down the hall to shut the door because they were rolling to delivery with someone else. and a few doors down we heard the healthy cry of a newborn. SIL vaginally delivered her 1 lb 11oz baby yesterday evening..sometime after 6 and left the hospital around noon today.

    I will be attending a funeral Tuesday. Please if you pray.....remember our family.
    ]

    Oh my I am so sorry to read this. You and your family have my sincere condolences and thoughts. Please pass on to your brother and sister-in-law how sorry we are to hear this. What a terrible loss. (((((hugs))))) to your whole family.
  11. by   HillaryC
    My friends grandmother went through the same thing many decades ago. Apparently she was deeply traumatized by it. Without being overly graphic and with all due respect to the horrible loss, it sounded like the baby had decomposed quite a bite after several months in utero post mortem. Isn't it now recognized that prolonged fetal demise is toxic to moms?

    Quote from Kyriaka
    I had a great aunt who in the 1930's was about 4 months pregnant and they made her carry the full 9 months because they said if they induced it would be a violation of abortion laws!??

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