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Perinatal Grief in Latino Parents

Whitaker, Claudia MS, APN, WHNP-BC; Kavanaugh, Karen PhD, RN, FAAN; Klima, Carrie PhD, CNM

MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: November-December 2010 - Volume 35 - Issue 6 - p 341–345
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e3181f2a111
Feature Article

Extensive research exists that describes the meaning of perinatal loss to some parents, but the experience of loss from the perspective of Latino parents is not clearly understood. Additionally, current perinatal bereavement practices used often to facilitate memory making for parents (such as viewing or holding the baby, taking photographs, or collecting mementos) are based on research done primarily with non-Latino families. Are these common practices appropriate for this population? Because there is a paucity of research on this topic, this article describes what has been written over the past 30 years on the topic of grief and perinatal loss in Latino culture.

Methods of expressing bereavement differ in varying cultures. For those who care for Latina mothers, it is imperative to know how Latinas deal with the difficult issue of perinatal grief.

Claudia Whitaker is a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Faculty at Rush University College of Nursing, Chicago, IL. She can be reached via e-mail at

Karen Kavanaugh is a Professor at Department of Women, Children, and Family Health Science and Co-Director at Center for End-of-Life Transition Research University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Chicago, IL.

Carrie Klima is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Women, Children, and Family Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing, Chicago, IL.

The authors have disclosed that there are no financial relationships related to this article.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.