When patients give feedback to healthcare providers, the topic of "communication" often features prominently. That is because when people are feeling vulnerable, the way they are spoken to, and the words that are used, matter a great deal.
There can be few experiences that are more distressing than the death of a baby. So we need to think very carefully about how bereaved parents are spoken to. This paper looks at clinical terms such as "miscarriage", "stillbirth" and "neo-natal death" and finds that "These categorisations based on gestational age and signs of life may not align with the realities of parental experience".
This study, published by the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, explored the healthcare experiences of parents whose babies had died just before 24 weeks of gestation. Those interviewed "felt strongly that describing their loss as a "miscarriage" was inappropriate and did not adequately describe their lived experience".