Presentation Information

Debbie Noble-Carr

Providing Enhanced Lactation Care for Families Following Late Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Neonatal and Infant Death

Abstract:

Every day, around the world, many mothers are faced with the complex task of managing the initial onset, or continuation, of their lactation following a late miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or infant loss. This presentation explores findings from a multi-year, multi-site Australian study conducted with bereaved families and health professionals that confirmed the limited nature and scope of lactation care currently available to bereaved families.

This presentation will provide evidence of the need and benefit of approaching lactation after infant death using a biopsychosocial care framework, so that bereaved families are able to make informed decisions from the full array of lactation management options that may be available including: suppression, sustained expression, breastmilk donation or using milk as memento. The challenges involved in providing bereaved lactation care will be acknowledged and discussed. Health professionals will be advised on what information and support bereaved families need and want, how and when this information may be best provided and who may be best placed to offer lactation care to bereaved families.