INSIGHTS ON DEATH & DYING: A need for extra gentleness

March 2004 
Volume 34  Number 3
Pages 66 - 66
  PDF Version Available!


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    In our obstetric unit, we're forming a committee to develop ideas for mothers who deliver stillborn babies. Right now, we give the little cap, receiving blanket, photos when appropriate, and footprints. Do you have any other suggestions? —D.M., ONTARIO

    Let me compliment you and your peers on your kindness. The obstetric unit is normally full of joy. The death of a baby can plunge the entire team into despair.

    Many grieving mothers have emphasized the need to “have something” associated with the child to take home. I favor locks of hair, but that can be difficult if the baby died in utero. The little blue or pink caps and receiving blankets are always welcome. Some parents appreciate photographs too, but be cautious about offering photos if the child's body is deformed or has deteriorated.

    A good alternative is to make plaster-of-Paris castings of the little hands or feet. You can ...

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