Perinatal Palliative Care Guide launched in Pregnancy & Infancy Loss Awareness month

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. It is a time when families and their loved ones remember babies gone too soon.

Perinatal Palliative Care: A guide to supporting families when a baby is at high risk of dying before or shortly after birth is a helpful and easy to read guide. It has been written for midwives, nurses, doctors, social workers, psychologists, counsellors, spiritual leaders, therapists and anyone who interacts with and provides care for pregnant mothers and families when the expected baby is likely to die before or soon after birth.

The book was created as a collaborative project with Bettercare whose materials are used widely by government and private hospitals, non-profit organisations and training institutions.  Its publication was generously funded by The Discovery Fund.

The first of its kind on perinatal palliative care written for a South African audience, the guide was authored by an experienced multidisciplinary team of experts working within the field of children’s palliative care led by Sister Tracy Rawlins, a professional nurse and the Education and Training Manager at PatchSA.

Topics covered within the book include:

  • Introduction to Perinatal Palliative Care
  • Providing palliative care in the antenatal period
  • Care and support during labour and immediately after delivery
  • Care and support during the neonatal period.

Asked what impact she felt that this new book would have, author Sister Tracy Rawlins said: “It is my hope that those who work with these parents, families and infants will provide more compassionate care with appreciation for the complexity of emotions that simultaneously dealing with pregnancy, birth and death can bring. Just practicing simple things, such as encouraging memory making, and giving the parents time and privacy to spend with their baby in order to say their goodbyes, can make the world of difference for a family as they cope with their loss.”  

Perinatal Palliative Care webinar: Tuesday 29 November

As part of the launch, we will host a 2-hour webinar on Perinatal Palliative Care on Tuesday 29 November from 14:00 – 16:00. Speakers on this webinar will include the experts who contributed to authoring and reviewing of the book, including:

  • Sr Tracy Rawlins
  • Dr Michelle Meiring
  • Dr Julia Ambler
  • Dr Khaku Mathivha

Pre-registration will be required for the webinar. Details to follow.

More about Bettercare

Bettercare is a South African independent, registered Non-profit and Public Benefit Organisation which aims to create appropriate learning opportunities without the need for formal tutors, to a wide range of healthcare workers with the goal of improving the quality of healthcare in even the most challenging circumstances. There are currently 28 Bettercare courses developed with experts in their clinical fields. In addition to the paper-based course books, Bettercare courses are also presented on an open-access website.

The book is complementary to the guide Palliative Care for Children – A guide for improving the quality of life of patients and their families  published by Bettercare and PatchSA in 2020.

Purchase the book

CLICK HERE to purchase the book directly from PatchSA.