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New Jersey Healthcare Professionals Enhance Support for Families Dealing with Perinatal Loss

Healthcare professionals across central New Jersey came together on April 15, 2024, for a new comprehensive perinatal bereavement training aimed at supporting their ability to provide compassionate care and support to families experiencing perinatal loss.

The full-day training, Lost Hopes and Dreams: New Jersey’s Perinatal Bereavement Training was created by nurse educators and perinatal loss experts from Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, the Partnership for Maternal and Child Health of Northern New Jersey, the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, Virtua Health, and Hackensack University Medical Center as well as a mother with lived experience. The training was meticulously organized to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to assist parents that are navigating the tragic terrain of perinatal loss. Attendees gained invaluable insights and practical tools to better support and care for parents during one of the most challenging times of their lives.

Among the key objectives of the training were:

  • Define the Five Types of Perinatal Loss: Participants gained a deep understanding of the various types of perinatal loss, enabling them to tailor their support to the specific needs of each family and their loss.
  • Implement Effective Communication Skills: Effective verbal and non-verbal communication are paramount when supporting grieving parents and family members. Attendees learned practical communication strategies to foster empathy, understanding, and trust while providing clear and direct support and information.
  • Navigate Ethical Dilemmas in the NICU: The training delved into the complex ethical dilemmas that can arise in cases of infant loss in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), equipping participants with ethical frameworks to provide care and support.
  • Best Practices for Supporting Pregnancy After Loss: Supporting families through subsequent pregnancies following a loss requires delicate care. Participants learned best practices for providing emotional support and guidance during these times of both anxiety and joy.
  • Memory Making for Families: Creating lasting memories can provide solace to grieving parents. The training covered the importance of photography and other memory-making options and provided practical steps for healthcare professionals to facilitate this process.
  • Essential Components of Discharge Education: Educating parents regarding critical elements of emotional and physical care following discharge from the hospital is vital for their healing as well as decreasing maternal morbidity and mortality. Attendees were equipped with the essential components of discharge education in the face of perinatal loss to ensure families feel informed and supported.

By the end of the training, participants emerged with enhanced capabilities and a renewed commitment to providing compassionate care to parents and families navigating perinatal loss.

For more information about upcoming training sessions or to inquire about perinatal bereavement resources, please contact Kathy Donaldson at