A Synthesis of Coping Experiences After Infant Death

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Abstract

The purpose of this article was to synthesize qualitative research data that examine parental coping strategies following infant death. This qualitative synthesis found that parents who effectively cope with the death of their infant would continue the bond with the deceased child, have differences in the way they manage their emotions about the loss, and have intergenerational support in the form of family being present, acknowledging the death, performing immediate tasks, and providing helpful information. Nurses should be vigilant to ensure parents receive “memories” of their infant after an in-hospital death. Knowledge of the coping process can assist nurses and clinicians to better care and support parents following an infant death and, in turn, facilitate the healing process.

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