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Elsa Silva

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Elsa Silva, a compassionate NICU nurse and NIDCAP professional from Portugal, gives insights into the unique challenges faced by caregivers dealing with (co-)twin loss in the neonatal unit:

While HCPs are confronted with the parents’ grief, they are coping with their own sadness of losing a little patient. Simultaneously, they must continue their crucial work, caring for the surviving sibling and other infants. The emotional toll of repeated experiences with death may lead to an unhealthy coping strategy of setting aside the mourning process and personal feelings.

A recent study revealed a significant gap in training for HCPs, with less than half (47.3%) of respondents having received guidance on supporting parents’ loss from a twin pregnancy. Ms Silva thus emphasised the pressing need for further training, the implementation of guidelines, strategies (such as debriefing sessions and supervision), and structural changes to better support HCPs in facing the unique challenges surrounding (co-)twin loss.

Let’s raise awareness to ensure compassionate support for grieving parents and caregivers alike. Together, we can create a more empathetic and resilient neonatal care community.