3. Acknowledging bereavement and twin-ship
Most parent’s value continued acknowledgement that a surviving baby is a twin, and appreciate it when others refer to both their twins by their names. Some feel that their loss is underestimated because of a tendency of others to try to be positive and focus on the surviving twin. Generally parents welcome the opportunity to discuss the twin who died and ‘permission’ to grieve for their loss, while still celebrating their surviving baby. Very importantly, avoid any sense that the parents are “lucky to have one”.
- Ask parents if they want their surviving baby to be referred to as a ‘twin’
- Find out the name(s) of any babies who died and use this in conversation
- Record parent’s wishes in notes, and communicate with other team members
- Ask parents if they would like to use a butterfly cot card on the surviving twin’s cot, and if they would like to write the name of the twin who died on it
- Never say “you are lucky to still have one”
I can’t even remember being asked about my bereavement.
The nurses didn’t know anything about our baby or us.
We weren’t ready for happiness. We still had a funeral to plan.