Culture of silence: Midwives, obstetricians and nurses experiences with perinatal death
Background: Health care personnel’s experiences of grief and painful emotional involvements in situations facing perinatal death has attracted woefully little research and attention. In order to provide high standards of care for patients and their families, health care personnel needs to express their emotions in these situations in an adequate way. Midwives, obstetricians, and the assistant nurses, as well as other healthcare professions, are exposed to stress at work. Critical events may lead to extreme stress for healthcare professionals. Perinatal death is defined as a stillbirth occurring at ≥22 completed weeks of gestation, a death during birth, or a death during the first week of life. Encountering perinatal death has a severe influence on healthcare personnel. Common reactions are worry,strain, blame, and self-blame. The absence of acknowledging the responses among midwives, obstetricians, and nurses appears to be most provoking and can cause suppression of emotions. This may further lead to unprocessed sad experiences and low self-confidence among concerned professionals.