Assistance in developing coping mechanisms.
6-20. GRIEF-STRICKEN MOTHER
a. A dead, dying, or severely handicapped infant leads to the problems of grief
and grief resolution for the postpartum mother. The initial task faced by the mother is
the realization that her child is dead, dying, or severely handicapped. Parents feel
devastated and inadequate and are mourning the loss of the fantasized perfect baby.
b. Nursing care needs.
(1) Be able to cope constructively with her own response to loss and grief to
meet the woman's needs.
(2) Provide emotional support for the mother and her family. Encourage
them to talk about their feelings. Do not avoid talking about the baby.
Place the parents and the baby in a private room.
Acknowledge the father as an equal, grieving parent.
Encourage and provide an opportunity for the parents to hold the infant.
(a) Prepare the parents for initial meeting of the infant by explaining the
cause of discoloration and/or blistering/peeling of the infant's skin and softness of skull.
Present infant in newborn clothes, if possible, and wrap in a
Hold and handle the infant as you would a live child.
(d) Encourage and assist the parents in unwrapping the infant and
foster bonding by calling attention to things such as features that resemble parents or
normal features such as presence of hair, fingernails, eyelashes, etc.
(e) Allow the parents unlimited time alone with the infant.
(7) Provide the parents with a collection of concrete memories. Make out
delivery bracelets with the infant's sex, delivery date, and time. Obtain the infant's
footprints, weight, length on "newborn card," and a lock of the infant's hair if possible.
(8) Make sure the mother is allowed to attend the funeral and to help with