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The care of a midwife given to a bereaved mother

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I, the undersigned declare that this project which I am submitting is all my own work and research. Signature __________________________ Date: / / Name of University: University of Limerick Module Code: NS4061 Module Title: Introduction to Midwifery Essay Title: The care of a midwife given to a bereaved mother Date submitted: 1st December, 2009 Title: Introduction to Midwifery Presented to: Sandra Atkinson Presented by: Niamh Whyte Student's ID No: 09004729 Word Count: 2,068 As the basis of my reflective assignment, I have incorporated Gibb's Cycle. During my Placement I have reflected on a particular experience that was thought-provoking. The bereavement and grief of a mother who has experienced a miscarriage is one of the most important issues to experience as a student midwife. There is not any knowledge that can be gained from a book effectively in comparison to an actual experience that will gain the relevant skills of caring. "A miscarriage is the unintentional early ending of pregnancy by a Natural or accidental accident." (The World Book Encyclopaedia, 1980). My focuses in this assignment is mainly the grief the mother experiences due to the death of her child. By my second week of placement in the antenatal ward, I had already developed my interpersonal skills with the women. When I had my first experience with a woman who had a miscarriage, I understood the difficulty that arises in this profession. ...read more.


There is no one person better equipped to care than an other. Each midwife should have something to offer. As midwives, we offer ourselves and in doing so we learn from grieving families. As this was my first experience, I felt as though I had nothing to offer. I believe that the pain I felt will always be there in these situations, but I hope I can resist the pain to that profundity in experiences in the future. Although it seems obvious that the negatives extend beyond the positives in this experience, it presents itself with optimism for the future. Supportive encouragement form the midwife represents hope for the woman. Bereaved parents are deeply grateful and remember the care they received throughout their lives (Mayes' Midwifery, 2004). They never forget the understanding, respect and genuine care, clearing shown by the midwife that they receive from caregivers who become as important to them as other memories in life (Midwifery and Obstetrics, All wards and Departments, February 2007). The situation gave me a chance to reflect and understand the issues relevant to the experience. From my work placement, I have become more confident and understanding to these fragile circumstances. I have developed a broader view of the world and life. The woman however is left in a fragile psychological grieving state. It is unknown to some women how to overcome the situation. ...read more.


Each individual is unique and as a midwife I should be able to recognise varied feelings and have a sense for each woman's individual needs (Mayes' Midwifery, 2004). I feel I portrayed an inadequate approach as for me it was an atypical experience spontaneously introduced to my coursework. I felt pain and sympathy for the mother but did not voice my empathy. I did not want to jeopardise the unfamiliar situation, even though I wanted to help by giving words of comfort. My mind could not think beyond the pain the mother must have been feeling. Next time, I would definitely use a more comforting approach. Perhaps I would sit on the bed as the midwife had, and maybe hold the woman's hand too, if suitable. I think that to provide effective comfort, good eye contact and body signs are necessary. I feel that I have progressed and am able to overcome the situation and deal with it in a more professional manner. No matter what the circumstances are, losing a child is a shock to the entire body. Grief will flood every part of you - emotionally, physically and mentally (When your baby dies through miscarriage or stillbirth, 2002). I know not to introduce hope for another baby or suggest moving on and forgetting about the baby. These are only the indicators to suggest the baby never even existed. I would not fail to communicate as I did in the situation and I would be more prepared next time I encountered a miscarriage. ...read more.

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