Fetal Bereavement Considerations
A number of hospitals have begun using written protocols to better support grieving mothers. There has been some research on the use of such protocols including whether holding a newborn resulted in less depression and PTSD. However, more research is needed.16,17
Miscarriages after infertility treatments, medical terminations and after multiple birth losses may be especially traumatic for parents. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedures have increased since 1981 with the birth of the first infant through ART. Mothers who undergo ART treatments are more likely to deliver multiple-birth infants than women who conceive naturally. Multiple births are associated with increased pregnancy complications, premature delivery, LBW and higher mortality and morbidity. In 2001, a total of 29,344 live births and 40,687 infants resulted from 107,587 ART procedures in 384 medical centers. The States with the highest rates of procedures were California, New York, Massachusetts, Illinois and New Jersey.18
Fifteen percent of women of reproductive age reported a past infertility health-care visit.19 Increasing numbers of women are seeking ART services and success rates vary greatly.