Journal Article

Toward a Theoretical Framework for Perinatal Bereavement

Keith Brownlee and Jodie Oikonen

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 34, issue 4, pages 517-529
Published in print June 2004 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online June 2004 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Toward a Theoretical Framework for Perinatal Bereavement

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For many women a foetal or neonatal death is a significant life-altering event. Modern medicine has offered pregnant women an early awareness of their developing foetus coupled with an opportunity for advanced feelings of attachment, which, in most cases, accentuates the grief and sense of loss. While crisis intervention services have become standard practice in hospital settings and typically meet many clinical and short-term needs of bereaved parents, conventionally held theories of grief fall short of the realities described by such parents. This paper critically examines the clinical and research support for current approaches to perinatal grief and argues that theory development specific to perinatal loss is needed within the field and that social workers can play an important role in this respect. Some emerging ideas are discussed that appear to hold promise for establishing models that would be more responsive to the particular complexities of perinatal bereavement.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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