The loss of pregnancy through miscarriage or stillbirth is typically an unexpected and highly distressing event for parents. While death in any form may be overwhelming to those bereaved, pregnancy and newborn loss are unique in several ways because they involve the added loss of parental identity and the idealized baby and family. In this study, the authors performed a narrative review of the literature regarding the phenomenon of grief following reproductive loss in bereaved parents, focusing on heteronormative mothers and fathers and on nontraditional families. One of the main highlighted aspects is the disenfranchisement of grief, which refers to a loss that is not or cannot be acknowledged, publicly mourned, or socially supported. This feeling is elicited by family, society, and healthcare providers. Although the literature has consistently documented the negative impact of this type of experience on parents and families, it is still largely unrecognized by healthcare providers. As most studies demonstrate, there are significant gaps in the psychosocial components of miscarriage and stillbirth care, including a lack of clarity in communication about the loss and subsequent steps, a lack of empathy, an invalidation of grief, and a failure to attend to emotional needs. Since healthcare providers are most often the first point of contact as they experience the loss, it is imperative to act so that patients’ needs are more adequately met. To this purpose, the authors propose a set of measures aimed at improving the quality of care and support.

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