Visual and haptic contact of women with a stillborn baby

Kateřina Ratislavová
University of West Bohemia in Plzeň, Faculty of Health Care Studies, Department of Nursing and Obstetric Assistance, Plzeň, Czech Republic

Korespondenční autor: Kateřina Ratislavová (

ISSN 1804-7181 (On-line)

Full verze:
Full version

Submitted:1. 6. 2015
Accepted: 30. 6. 2015
Published online: 31. 12. 2015


The paper deals with the possibility of visual and haptic contact of a woman/parents with a stillborn baby. It mentions the historical connection of the approach to saying farewell to a stillborn baby, and new findings about the influence of contact with a stillborn on women’s mental health after perinatal loss. Decision making on physical contact of parents with their stillborn baby is highly influenced by their natural need to see the child, but also by the behaviour, attitude and approach of the medical staff. The research results of the farewell ritual through visual or physical contact with a stillborn baby from the Czech Republic are considerably different from the data presented by specialists from “western” countries. Especially the approach of medical staff seems to have influence. The author stresses the provision of a free and informed choice for parents after perinatal loss, the right communication of medical staff with parents and the quality of visual and haptic contact of parents with a stillborn baby.

Keywords: stillbirth; contact with a stillborn; informed choice


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