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interconception, nursing care, perinatal loss, support



  1. Moore, Tanya MSN, WHNP, FNP
  2. Parrish, Heather BSN, RN
  3. Black, Beth Perry PhD, RN


ABSTRACT: Perinatal loss can be emotionally devastating for couples who experience miscarriage, fetal or neonatal death. Nurses in a variety of settings can assist couples through their grief by providing emotional support, giving information about the grief process, and in planning for a future pregnancy or deciding to forego future childbearing. This article explicates the relationship between grief and perinatal loss and its effects on couples, specifically in the interconception period, when the initial grief and distress have begun to subside. Interconception care focuses on bridging the couple from the end of the postpartum period to the subsequent pregnancy or decision not to conceive again. Nurses assist couples in distinguishing between uncomplicated grief, complicated grief, and depression, and make appropriate referrals. Openness to expressions of grief, helping couples mobilize support, considering readiness for another pregnancy, and directing couples to useful Internet sites are essential nursing interventions.