Mourning is the entire process precipitated by the loss of a family member or a loved one.During childbirth, the loss of a newly born baby is a profound loss to new mothers, prompting the need to introduce bereavement as part ofmandatory training for newly qualified midwives.Given the trauma that is experienced by not only the new mothers but also the attending midwife, the approach of such a situation is critical to the process of grieving(Barry et al., 2017). Moreover, bereavement elicits a lot of emotional and psychological reactions that may eventually result into psychological harm to both the mother and the newly qualified midwife due to inadequate training in bereavement such as coping with perinatal loss(Chiarella et al., 2008).
Training newly qualified midwives on how to cope with perinatal loss is an essential intervention to improve midwifery services in hospitals (Stephen and Macduff, 2012).Parents find it difficult to cope with the sad news of perinatal loss since most parents try to envision the life of their baby even before they are born, thus building expectations over the time of pregnancy with the climax when the mother goes into labor. During this time both the father and the mother are highly expectant of a live child who will live their entire lifetime and achieve milestones. However, despite all the expectation, one thing that the expectant parents do not prepare themselves for is the possibility of perinatal loss (Canadian-Peadriatric-Society, 2001). The sensitivity of such a loss calls for additional mandatory training of newly qualified midwives on bereavement to help them gain necessary skills to walk the bereaved mother through the grieving process(Gardner et al., 2004).
Bereavement is a critical area that ought to be included in the midwifery training to equip the newly qualified midwives with skills and knowledge of handling bereaved mothers.According to Fenwick and colleagues, the current midwifery training does not provide the essential skills and psychological techniques for managing bereavement during pregnancy or childbirth (Fenwick et al., 2007).
Much of the research in perinatal loss is profoundly focused on the psychology aspect of midwifery which particular emphasis on psychometric evaluation of specific components including care such as naming newly born babies (Allott, 1996). Hughes described the dramatic changes which have been experienced in this field for more than 20 years and credits the positive changes realized to the initial interest in the clinical benefit in the experience during a perinatal loss(Hughes and Goodall, 2013).
More recently, there has been a shift in the focus on how perinatal bereavement care is provided in the hospital setting(Hughes and Goodall, 2013). However, the care provided to women who have suffered the unfortunate perinatal bereavement has not been strengthened and optimized to achieve positive care outcomessignaling the need for an urgent assessment of the guidelines for bereavement. This paper proposes new aspects for improving perinatal loss care such as the introduction of holistic care, woman-centered care, and evidence-based care. Moreover, there is a need to revise the perinatal loss care policies appropriately.Along with the changes above that can be used as the basis for improving perinatal bereavement care, further research in the area of perinatal bereavement should thus be encouraged(Kara et al., 2017).
The existence of structures in healthcare organizations as well as government policies that establish perinatal bereavement care does reflect good care for bereaved mothers and their families. The quality of care provided by newly qualified midwives to the bereaved families is gradually diminishing in the United Kingdom, as a result of sub-standard college training of midwives. The newly qualified midwives have limited skills in handling bereaved mothers affecting the effectiveness of care provided to the victims of bereavement. To ensure that the newly qualified midwives are highly versatile and are positioned appropriately to handle bereavement cases, additional mandatory training is recommended so to facilitate training of the newly qualified midwives in critical areas such as bereavement (Schott and Henley, 2007).
According to past studies, newly qualified midwives face the challenge of inadequate support to care for bereaved women and their families(Simwaka, De Kok and Chilemba, 2014). Thus, different approaches have been implemented to support the newly qualified midwives to cope with bereavement. Midwives training includes the application of educational tools such as workshops seminars and internships to gain practical skills (Hall and Mitchell, 2017).The core value of postnatal care includes respect and dignity which can be achieved through participating in workshops and short course training.According to Alghamdi& Jarrett (2016), workshops and seminars are essential in equipping newly qualified midwives with the necessary skills to perform their duties effectively(Alghamdi and Jarrett, 2016). The need for supporting early careers midwives has been demonstrated widely including in the UK(Barry et al., 2017; Doherty et al., 2018). The national maternity review newly qualified midwives need to be trai
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