A dead baby is a very real happening for some women and midwives. This death may occur in early, middle or late pregnancy, at birth or in the postnatal period. Miscarriage, abortion and stillbirth are the terms used to describe this event in a woman's life. Technology and sophisticated prenatal care have helped to reduce infant morbidity and mortality in Australia. But however good the technology and care may be, when a woman and her family are faced with a dead baby they will ask many questions of both themselves and the caregivers; perhaps not immediately, but they will ask. What midwives need to ask of themselves is 'Do I have the knowledge, the skills and the ability to deal with questions?'
This book is based on women s experiences and has been written for midwives, by a midwife. The chapters follow a chronological pattern from early pregnancy loss through to late pregnancy loss. The chapter on subsequent pregnancy is useful as a guide for the midwife who will be caring for that woman and her family. Nothing is overlooked in this book as the appendices give helpful hints and strategies for looking after yourself, men partners, children and grandparents. So often these groups are forgotten in texts and the focus is always on the woman. The cultural section provides an overview of some of the mores and rules of particular cultural and religious groups and will be very helpful to guide care in a sensitive way.
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