Caring for the Family Experiencing Perinatal Death

Learning objectives

  • Identify definitions and statistics associated with early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, and newborn death.
  • Define the unique aspects of early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, and newborn death.
  • Identify common misconceptions of perinatal loss.
  • Establish a Standard of Care for perinatal loss.
  • Describe what bereaved parents find helpful in coping with perinatal loss.

Course overview

Nurses, social Workers, clergy and other healthcare professionals taking online bereavement training to help them better meet the needs of families suffering loss throughout the continuum of life, receive continuing education credit (CEUs) with an 80% passing grade, and upon completion of the course evaluation.

Nurse Contact Hours: 1.1
Social Worker Contact Hours: 1.0
Chaplain Contact Hours: 1.2

  • 40 minutes
Course Outline
  • Introduction
  • What is Perinatal Loss?
  • Unique Aspects of Perinatal Loss
  • Misconceptions of Perinatal Loss
  • Standard of Care
  • Helping Bereaved Parents
  • Allen, M. & Marks, S. (1993). Miscarriage: Women sharing from the heart. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • MacDorman, M. F. & Kimeyer, S. (2009). Fetal and perinatal mortality U.S., 2005. National Vital Statistics Reports, 57(8), retrieved June 15, 2010 from
  • Matthews, T. J. & MacDorman, M. F. (2011). Infant mortality statistics from the 2007 period linked birth/infant death data set. National Vital Statistics Report, 59(6). Retrieved January 20, 2012, from:
  • The Compassionate Friends, Inc. (1999). When a child dies. A survey of bereaved parents conducted by NFO Research, Inc.
  • Davidson, GW. (1984). Understanding Mourning. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House.
  • DeFrain, J. (1991). Learning about grief from normal families: SIDS, stillbirth, and miscarriage. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 17(3), 215-232.
  • Limbo, RK & Wheeler, SR. (1986). Women's responses to the loss of their pregnancy through miscarriage: A longitudinal study. Forum Newsletter 10(4), 4-6. Published by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), Hartford, CT. Used with permission.
  • Warland J, Davis DL, et al (2011) Caring for Families Experiencing Stillbirth: A unified position statement on contact with the baby. An international collaboration. Available from
  • Workman, E. (2001). Guiding parents through the death of their infant. Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 30(6), 569-73.
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