‘Remember me’: an exploration of the impact of the Féileacáin Remembering Memory Box on parents bereaved through stillbirth or neonatal death

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O'Sullivan, Rebecca
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Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork
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This research dissertation was completed as part of a CARL initiative in UCC. CARL promotes community-based research, allowing for the voices of small community organisations to be heard. This research was undertaken in collaboration with Féileacáin. Féileacáin, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland (SANDI), provides support to parents and families affected by the death of a baby during or after pregnancy. The Féileacáin Remembering Memory Boxes are supplied to each maternity unit and children’s hospital in Ireland. The function of these boxes is to provide support to parents and families to care of and make memories with their babies before or after death. In 2016, the HSE introduced National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death. The objective of these standards was to facilitate the delivery of a comprehensive range of bereavement care services for parents bereaved while under the care of the maternity service (HSE, 2016). Féileacáin was named as a support service under these standards. Féileacáin called for this research to be undertaken upon hearing of the experiences of parents whom they support. The overall aim of this research was to understand parents’ experience of receiving a Féileacáin Memory Box. The research applied an epistemological perspective of social constructivism which was underpinned by interpretivism and participatory paradigms. Primary research was carried out in the form of an online survey which captured responses from 29 research participants. These responses were analysed from which the broad concept of ‘bonds’ was extracted. The findings illustrate the significance of the Memory Box to parents and families as it allows them to remain connected with their baby after their passing. Findings demonstrate how the Memory Boxes ameliorates the grieving process for parents. Furthermore, the findings question the overall standardisation of bereavement care provided by the HSE under the national standards. A number of recommendations were drawn from the research findings and were offered in the conclusion of this research piece. It is envisaged that these recommendations will act as a foundation for future research for Féileacáin to inform policies and practices in bereavement care.
Féileacáin , Stillbirth , Neonatal death , Bereavement care services , Epistemological perspective , Pregnancy loss , Perinatal death , Memory box
O’Sullivan, R. (2019) ‘Remember me’: an exploration of the impact of the Féileacáin Remembering Memory Box on parents bereaved through stillbirth or neonatal death. Cork: Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork.
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©2019, Rebecca O’Sullivan,