Before induction or onset of labour and delivery
Aim to support and prepare women for their induction and delivery whether they are going home or remaining in the hospital.
Women tell us that this time can be difficult because they know their baby has died and it won’t be apparent to others. They can feel lost and uncertain about what is happening next and who they could contact.
What do we need to do?
- Make sure all health professionals who have a role with the family know what has happened as soon as possible. Aim to contact the GP, midwife and local obstetric consultant within 24 hours.
- Prepare parents for what to expect during induction, labour and birth. Describe the place of birth, likely appearance of the baby, and common emotional reactions.
- Provide written information.
- If a woman wishes to wait for her labour to start naturally, a consultant will need to explain the risks to her health, the possible deterioration in the baby’s appearance and reduced ability to identify the cause of death.
- Update the birth plan to reflect what is important to the woman and so she is in control as much as possible.
- Begin or continue the conversation about planning for memory making, and the option to take the baby home or out of the hospital environment (see Before discharge).
- Where possible, offer a choice of place of care depending on mother’s medical condition and wishes.
- Make sure the family know:
- who their key contact is if they have not already been identified
- when and how they can communicate with their key contact if they have any questions or change their mind
- how continuity of obstetric and maternity care is being provided.
How will we know we have achieved our aim?
Families will tell us they felt well prepared and supported for the delivery of their baby.
Staff will say they feel confident and competent when preparing and supporting women for the delivery.