Improving Support for Families Experiencing Perinatal Loss
Population and Global Health | BC Women's Hospital + Health Centre
“The booklet is beautiful and amazing resource. I wish I had access to this information 10 years ago when my daughter was stillborn. No one told me about options to donate or dry up my milk and I suffered without proper information. It is wonderful to know this kind of resource exists now; I know other families will benefit from it.” – Bereaved parent reflecting on loss resources
Perinatal loss – from miscarriage to newborn loss – is a challenging experience for individuals, families and the health care providers who care for them. Since 2019, the Population and Global Health team at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre has developed a series of resources on perinatal loss including Caring for Yourself After the Loss of Your Baby, After the Loss of Your Baby, Lactation After Loss, What is Miscarriage? and Autopsy Information for Parents.
These resources provide information and decision-making tools that support individuals and families who are grieving. By collaborating with people with lived experience, the team has been able to ensure that the resources are accessible and emotionally supportive, and that they honour bereaved parents’ losses.
“I was so happy to learn about these resources. I have forwarded them to my support group friends. I can see that a lot of care and work went into creating these resources; so amazing…” – Bereaved parent
As well, working closely with clinician experts across BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre has ensured the resources are accurate, appropriate and informative.
And more resources are coming: the Population and Global Health team is partnering with the Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic at BC Women’s to develop video and digital resources to support people who experience recurrent pregnancy loss. It’s also partnering with the Hummingbird Project, a community-based team of clinicians, researchers and bereaved parents, to develop a podcast series for families who experience stillbirth.
By engaging both parents and providers in creating these resources, the Population and Global Health team is lessening the silence and reducing the stigma associated with perinatal loss while providing practical, medical, and emotional support to bereaved parents.
“Caring for Yourself After the Loss of Your Baby provides an easily accessible list of important resources for parents both within the hospital and in the community. During a time when little makes sense, this booklet will help parents find answers to questions, locate vital resources and receive compassionate support as they grieve and heal after a loss” – Social Worker