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Table 5 Recommendations reported by parents per type of support

From: How do parents experience support after the death of their child?

Type of support



Create possibility to share grief and experiences and get support not only after the death of a child but in the next pregnancy as well [1] [year of death 1986] [realized by the Care of Next Infant program (CONI)]

Close relatives or friends should let the parents know that support could be provided anytime [1] [year of death 2005]

Professionals should realise that parents want to hold and cuddle their deceased child [1] [year of death 2005]

A physician (e.g., the GP), midwife or social worker should offer a consultation 6-12 months after the death of a child to check whether there are questions or whether parents need support [3] [year of death 2005, 2011, 2012]

The GP or Preventive Child Health nurse should contact (phone, home visit) parents as a ‘safety net’ [1] [year of death 2012] several times after the death of their child to pay attention to the loss, listen to them [4] [year of death 2000, 2010] and signal problems in the grieving process at a very early stage [1] [year of death 2010]

A hospital professional, like the gynaecologist or nurse, should contact parents uninvited to evaluate [2] [year of death 2008, 2012]

Professionals should take into account the mental situation of the mother when she gives birth to a deceased child [1] [year of death 2012]


The GP should offer support and discuss his/her options for giving after care shortly after the death of a child [3] [year of death 1985, 1997, 2000]

Professionals should structurally draw the parents’ attention to contact with fellow sufferers [2] [year of death 2005][still does not happen always]

Support should be offered repeatedly by a professional from the hospital, midwife, preventive child health care professional or GP, especially when support from social network has stopped [2] [year of death 2005, 2012]

Hospitals should organise a memorial service for all deceased children [1] [year of death 2008][happens in many hospitals, nowadays]

Offer a form of maternity care once a week for 6 to 12 months [1] or help in the household for 1 year after the death of a child, to be reimbursed by the insurance company[1] [year of death 2011]


Professionals should draw parents’ attention to books, websites, documents [3] [year of death 1997, 2005]. A brochure that contains different kinds of support with contact information of professionals should be offered as a standard procedure shortly after the death of a child [1] [year of death 2010]

The undertaker should provide parents with information about options for a funeral or cremation, including examples of grave covers and sample texts for cards [2] [year of death 1997, 2005][Is realized nowadays]


Lay down rules for bereavement leave for the duration that is needed [1] [year of death 2011]

The hospital should offer a return visit to the department of the hospital where the child is born to speak the nursing staff [1] [year of death 2012]