Neonatal death

neonatal death

neonatal death

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Neonatal death

DEFINITION: The death of a baby that has been born alive, before it is 28 days old.


  • Disbelief, disorientation, unstable

  • Abandoned, bewildered, confused

  • Angry, helpless, disconnected, despairing


  • Why couldn’t they save him/her?

  • What went wrong?

  • Why us?

  • Being given something so precious then to have it taken away feels cruel

  • This feels like a dream that has become a nightmare….

How Petals can help:

Petals counselling sessions provide the safe space for parents to take their feelings of despair and abandonment when a baby that has lived for a short time then died. Parents often report feeling quite disorientated by the experience of neonatal care as this provided hope which was then taken away.

The counselling relationship provides an important safe space to process what many couples describe as a rollercoaster of emotions – the support enables them to readjust to their lives outside the hospital environment where they may have spent most of their time. Transitioning through this can be challenging as the enormity of what has happened comes into focus and the weight of emotions can feel overwhelming.  Through the counselling sessions, the couple can work through these emotions and recognise how their babies’ life has impacted on them individually and as a couple.