Support essential to cope with stillbirth

Hospital chaplains struggle with their personal faith when trying to help parents come to terms with stillbirth, research has found.

Moreover, without proper training and support, the experience could have “serious consequences for their wellbeing,” according to the study, published in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care.

The study’s main author, research student Daniel Nuzum, hospital chaplain at Cork University Hospital, said a diagnosis that a baby will not survive or has already died in utero “brings with it a bewildering array of emotional distress where birth and death collide with life-long impact for the parents.”

The quality of care on offer to parents is paramount, given it could have “long-lasting consequences, both positive and negative,” Mr Nuzum said.

The research involved responses from 20 chaplains at 17 maternity units around the country.

The researchers found widespread diversity in practice and training of hospital chaplains when it came to helping parents cope with stillbirth.

Mr Nuzum said the study highlighted the need for a standardised approach “so that all bereaved parents receive a consistently high level of care and support following the death of their baby.”

He said the study also highlights “that it is time to acknowledge the human and professional impact of stillbirth on healthcare chaplains.”

HERE


Lifestyle

When Marisa Murphy went to play as a teenager on Dinish Island, she could still see the flowers growing among the ruins in her grandmother’Islands of Ireland: Barely inhabitated Dinish became an industrial zone

MAC make-up artist Lucy Bridge shares her tips backstage at Roland Mouret.How to create the perfect matte red lip, according to a backstage beauty expert

New trends include chunky heeled boots, silver belts and lots of plaid from the British designer.Victoria Beckham got ‘rebellious’ for her new collection – as David and family watched on

When horses were shown photographs of angry human faces, their hearts speeded up.Jackass penguin talk is similar to humans

More From The Irish Examiner