Exploring Midwives’ Experience of Bereavement Care

(June 2018)

Last year I cared for a woman who experienced a stillbirth at term. As a result I suffered symptoms of PTSD and required counselling in order to move forward. I came to realise that much of my recovery was tied up in the worry that I was not meant to ‘feel’ in this way. The grief belonged to the mother so why did I feel so bereft. Through the help of a skilled counsellor and a huge amount of reflection, then ultimately through writing this article I was able to untangle some of those feelings.

My hope is that in reading this, others will be helped through a recognition that the midwifes grief is a valid, albeit complex process. If this is you, then please do reach out and get the support you need. The article was published as a blog post on my most favourite midwifery journal website The Practising Midwife / All4Maternity, a fantastic comprehensive resource for all birthy types.

I recently discovered that the wonderfully brave and courageous woman I supported last year has had a live birth, her beautiful rainbow baby. This gives me such happiness and a bittersweet moment as I am reminded of the sweet but still face I gazed at last year. Always in my heart.
"Supporting parents as they experience the devastating loss of their baby, be it before, during, or shortly after birth presents a particular challenge to the midwife. The midwife must skilfully and compassionately meet the often considerable physical, emotional and psychological needs of women suffering loss (Mills, 2015), carry out correctly the subsequent paperwork and finally must be able to navigate their own feelings and reactions to the loss. This article offers a brief exploration of the impact of bereavement care on the midwife, why this is important and what can be done to support midwives through the experience thus ensuring bereaved parents receive the excellent care they need."
To read more, visit the very amazing Practising Midwife / All4Maternity website https://www.all4maternity.com/exploring-the-midwives-experience-of-bereavement-care/


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