Transitional Objects to Faciliate Grieving Following Perinatal Loss

Parents who experience a perinatal loss often leave the hospital with empty arms and no tangible mementos to validate the parenting experience. Opportunities to create parenting experiences with transitional objects exist following the infant’s death.

This article offers suggestions for staff in units where infant loss is possible to best assist parents in optimal grieving through the offering of transitional bereavement objects.

 Transitional objects can be provided by staff that are low-cost or free, such as taking photographs for parents, or they can involve purchased products from perinatal bereavement programs. In the latter case, funding needs are a consideration for budgeting decisions.

 Immediately following a loss, parents experience a brief sense of healing after receiving mementos of their infant. However, further research is needed to assess long-term effects of receiving transitional objects following perinatal loss.

To access the abstract of the article please click here

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Learning from deaths: Parents’ Active Role and ENgagement in The review of their Stillbirth/perinatal death (the PARENTS 1 study)

Following a perinatal death, a formal standardised multi-disciplinary review should take place, to learn from the death of a baby and facilitate improvements in future care. It has been recommended that bereaved parents should be offered the opportunity to give feedback on the care they have received and integrate this feedback into the perinatal mortality review process. However, the MBRRACE-UK Perinatal Confidential Enquiry (2015) found that only one in 20 cases parental concerns were included in the review. Although guidance suggests parental opinion should be sought, little evidence exists on how this may be incorporated into the perinatal mortality review process. The purpose of the PARENTS study was to investigate bereaved parents’ views on involvement in the perinatal mortality review process.

 

A semi-structured focus group of 11 bereaved parents was conducted in South West England. A purposive sampling technique was utilised to recruit a diverse sample of women and their partners who had experienced a perinatal death more than 6 months prior to the study. A six-stage thematic analysis was followed to explore parental perceptions and expectations of the perinatal mortality review process.

 

Four over-arching themes emerged from the analysis: transparency; flexibility combined with specificity; inclusivity; and a positive approach. It was evident that the majority of parents were supportive of their involvement in the perinatal mortality review process and they wanted to know the outcome of the meeting. It emerged that an individualised approach should be taken to allow flexibility on when and how they could contribute to the process. The emotional aspects of care should be considered as well as the clinical care. Parents identified that the whole care pathway should be examined during the review including antenatal, postnatal, and neonatal and community based care. They agreed that there should be an opportunity for parents to give feedback on both good and poor aspects of their care.

 

Parents were unaware that a review of their baby’s death took place in the hospital. Parental involvement in the perinatal mortality review process would promote an open culture in the healthcare system and learning from adverse events including deaths. Further research should focus on designing and evaluating a perinatal mortality review process where parental feedback will be integral.

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Antenatal magnesium sulphate administration for fetal neuroprotection: a French national survey

 

Magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) is the only treatment approved for fetal neuroprotection. No information on its use is available in the absence of a national registry of neonatal practices. The objective of the study was to evaluate the use of MgSO4 for fetal neuroprotection in French tertiary maternity hospitals (FTMH).

Online and phone survey of all FTMH between August 2014 and May 2015. A participation was expected from one senior obstetrician, one senior anaesthetist and one senior neonatologist from each FTMH. Information was obtained from 63/63 (100%) FTMH and 138/189 (73%) physicians. Use of MgSO4 for fetal neuroprotection, regimen and injection protocols, reasons for non-use were the main outcome measures.

60.3% of FTMH used MgSO4 for fetal neuroprotection. No significant difference was observed between university and non-university hospitals or according to the annual number of births. Protocols differed especially in terms of the maximum gestational age (3% <28 WG, 71% <33 WG, 18% <34 WG and 8% < 35 WG). Eighty seven percent of centers using MgSO4 prescribed retreatment when necessary, but according to non-consensual modalities in terms of number of treatments or between-treatment intervals. Injections and monitoring were mostly performed in the delivery room (97%) but also in the recovery room in one half of hospitals. Lack of experience (52%), absence of a written protocol (49%) and national guidelines (46%) were the reasons most commonly reported to explain non-use of MgSO4 as a neuroprotective agent.

Sixty percent of FTMH used MgSO4 for fetal neuroprotection, but according to heterogeneous regimens. National guidelines could allow standardization of practices and better MgSO4 coverage.

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Golden 60 minutes of newborn’s life: Part 2: Term neonate

Abstract

The concept of “Golden 60 minutes” or “Golden Hour” has been derived from adult trauma. It has been defined as the first 60 min of postnatal life. It has been seen that care received by any newborn in the initial first hour has implications in the future life, showing the importance of golden hour. The major cause of neonatal mortality term newborn is asphyxia, which can be reduced with effective resuscitation. In golden hour approach for term newborn, the importance is given to effective and evidence based resuscitation, post-resuscitation care, delayed cord clamping, prevention of hypothermia, immediate breast feeding, prevention of hypoglycemia, and starting of therapeutic hypothermia in case of moderate to severe asphyxia. In this part of review, we will cover all the golden hour interventions in term neonate with current evidence.

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Golden 60 minutes of newborn’s life: Part 1: Preterm neonate

Abstract

“Golden 60 minutes “or “Golden Hour” is defined as the first hour of the newborn after birth. This hour includes resuscitation care, transport to nursery from place of birth and course in nursery. The concept of “Golden hour” includes evidence based interventions that are done in the first 60 min of postnatal life for the better long term outcome of the preterm newborn especially extreme premature, extreme low birth weight and very low birth weight. The evidence shows that the concept of “Golden 60 minutes” leads to reduction in neonatal complications like hypothermia, hypoglycemia, intraventricular hemorrhage, chronic lung disease and retinopathy of prematurity. In this review, we have covered various interventions included in “Golden hour” for preterm newborn namely delayed cord clamping, prevention of hypothermia, respiratory and cardiovascular system support, prevention of sepsis, nutritional support and communication with family.

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The Effects of the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) System on Sensitivity in Mother–Infant Interactions

Abstract

The Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) system is a neurobehavioral observation tool designed to sensitize parents to infants’ capacities and individuality and to enhance the parent–infant relationship by strengthening parents’ confidence and practical skills in caring for their children. The NBO’s focus on relationship building is intended for infant mental health professionals who strive for a relational, family-centered model of care versus a pathology-based model. This study assessed the impact of the NBO on the sensitivity of mother–infant interaction in the first 4 months of life. Primiparous mothers and their full-term infants were randomized into experimental and control groups. The intervention group participated in the NBO in the hospital within 2 days of birth and again at home at 1 month postpartum. At 4 months, dyads (n = 35) were videotaped during semistructured play episodes, which were coded to assess parent–child sensitivity in interactions with one another. Intervention infants were 2.8 times more likely to be classified as “cooperative” (sensitive) than control group infants. Intervention mothers were 2.5 times more likely to be classified as sensitive than control mothers. These findings highlight the potential of the NBO to promote positive maternal–infant relations by influencing newborn behavior and suggest that the NBO is an effective, time-limited intervention for strengthening relationships between parents and infants.

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Atrial Flutter in the Neonate: A Case Study

Abstract

Atrial flutter (AF) is an uncommon neonatal tachyarrhythmia that can present during the first few days after birth. The infant with AF may demonstrate an abrupt increase in heart rate greater than 220 bpm that is sustained despite vagal maneuvers. The diagnosis is made by electrocardiogram (ECG), and the treatments may include medication management and cardioversion. We present a case review of an infant diagnosed with AF and describe the incidence, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management.

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