Supporting Parents Who Lose a Child of a Multiple Birth: A Critical Review of Research in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Jacqueline M. McGrath, Michelle L. Butt, Haifa Abou Samra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Loss of a child in the neonatal period is a devastating event for the family. Yet, when the child is one of twins or higher-order multiples, that loss can easily be dismissed with attention shifting to the surviving infant(s). Parents may be unable to grieve or may delay grieving until the surviving infant(s) is more stable. Little research exists to guide clinical practice. This integrated review summarizes the research literature on the experiences of parents of multiples when an infant does not survive and at least 1 surviving infant remains and the interventions to support the bereaving parents and concludes with suggestions for clinical practice and future research. Health care professionals need to balance the care of the surviving infant with care of the grieving parents. Ultimately, for the parents to attach appropriately to the surviving infant(s), they need to grieve the loss of the child(ren) that did not survive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalNewborn and Infant Nursing Reviews
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bereavement
  • Multiple births
  • NICU
  • Parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics

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