Bereavement Care

The HSE National Standards for Bereavement Care following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death clearly define the care parents and families can expect to receive following a pregnancy loss or perinatal death. The standards will be implemented and applied across the health service in all appropriate hospitals and settings.

Launch of 

The first of its kind in Ireland, will be a  valuable resource for parents who experience pregnancy loss or perinatal death and the health care professionals who care for them. The website provides information on a sensitive subject, shares the latest research into the causes of baby loss, and promotes emotional well-being and support services.  

Supported by funding from the Irish Hospice Foundation, the website is an initiative of the Implementation Group for the National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death.

The standards are built around four central themes

  1. Bereavement Care which is central to the mission of the hospital and is offered in accordance with the religious, secular, ethnic, social and cultural values of the parents
  2. The Hospital to ensure a system is in place to provide bereavement care and end of life care for babies that is central to the mission of the hospital and is organised around the needs of babies and their families
  3. The Baby and Parents to ensure each baby/family receives high-quality palliative and end of life care appropriate to his/her needs and to the wishes of his/her parents
  4. The Staff: so that all hospital staff have access to training education and training opportunities in the delivery of compassionate bereavement and end of life care in accordance with their roles and responsibilities.

The standards have been developed by an expert working group including representatives from obstetrics, midwifery, psychiatry, paediatrics, social work, chaplaincy and the Irish Hospice Foundation. Their extensive work was informed by a national audit of bereavement services in maternity units, an extensive public consultation process that yielded 164 submissions, consultation with practitioners and voluntary support organisations that support parents and families as well as the development of the new National Maternity Strategy and the draft HIQA Maternity Standards.

Read the National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death

Read the Implementation National Standards for Bereavement

Bereavement Care Pathways 

  1. Pathway for ectopic pregnancy
  2. Pathway for first trimester miscarriage
  3. Pathway for neonatal death
  4. Pathway for perinatal palliative care
  5. Pathway for second trimester miscarriage
  6. Pathway for stillbirth