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Lactation After Loss: Choices for Bereaved Parents

Help bereaved parents understand their lactation choices following pregnancy loss.

A female doctor holds the hand of a female patient who is suffering from pregnancy loss.

Lactation After Loss: Choices for Bereaved Parents

  • 2 weeks

  • 1 hour per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Support mothers in the face of loss with actionable lactation guidance

Pregnancy loss affects approximately 25% of pregnancies. Despite its frequency, the experience remains profoundly challenging for those affected, making the need for support all the more important during difficult times.

In the midst of pregnancy loss, many grieving parents may be unsure of what options are available to them. From emotional support to practical decisions, the array of choices can feel overwhelming and unclear, especially lactation options which are not often shared within the healthcare environment.

In this two-week course from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals’ NHS Foundation Trust, learn how to support those impacted by baby loss and gain practical skills for discussing lactation options.

Understand the impact of baby loss, from lactation physiology to breast milk donation options

At the beginning of this course, you’ll explore the intricate connections between baby loss and lactation to comprehend their profound impact on families.

Then dive into key concepts of baby loss and lactation physiology while delving into practical aspects like milk donation and suppression choices.

Guide mothers with compassion through sensitive discussions to find supportive lactation solutions

In the second week of this course, you’ll trace the historical evolution of milk donation while exploring its significance and best practices in healthcare management.

Discover the motivations behind milk donation, understand contraindications, and learn effective strategies for initiating conversations with caregivers and parents.


  • Week 1

    Understanding lactation after loss

    • Welcome and introduction

      Welcome to week 1 of the Lactation After Loss course!

    • Physiology of lactation and suppression

      This section will cover the biological processes involved, both in lactation and its suppression.

    • Considering different views

      In this section, we consider the views of parents, families and healthcare professionals on lactation options, including how these views may be shaped by a persons identity and beliefs.

    • End of week 1

      Summarising and reflecting on the content covered in Week 1.

  • Week 2

    Options for lactation after loss

    • Making difficult decisions

      In this section, we look at the difficult decisions faced by parents experiencing child loss, from end-of-life considerations, to offering choices. We look at real experiences, and offer chances for you to reflect.

    • Milk donation

      In this activity, we consider the option of milk donation. We look at how the process has developed, and consider the practical aspects of donation.

    • Having difficult conversations

      This section provides guidance on how to have the difficult conversations regarding lactation options after loss. You will hear professionals offer their advice, and have the opportunity to discuss your own experiences.

    • End of course

      Here, we will close the course by reviewing your learning and offering opportunities for discussion.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe when and how baby loss occurs and how this impacts on lactation choices
  • Summarise lactation physiology and choices available for suppression or continuation
  • Explain the impacts of these choices on women and the wider family
  • Demonstrate the confidence to initiate a discussion with bereaved women
  • Discuss the options available, and where to seek further support

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for doctors, midwives, nurses, counsellors, psychologists and other health professionals working with recently bereaved parents. Nursing and medical students may also find this course beneficial for their studies.

Free upgrade for UK NHS staff

A free upgrade for this course is available for NHS staff by registering here.

This upgrade is also available free to NHS-affiliated staff. Check eligibility.

The upgrade means that you’ll receive a certificate on successful completion of this course, as well as unlimited access to the sessions and materials.

Who will you learn with?

Professor of Neonatal Medicine with >25 years experience in large NICU. Lead research programmes in neonatal nutrition & work with parents

Milk Bank at Chester Manager & Bereavement Lead & founder of the Memory Milk Gift. Passionate about choices for bereaved families and empowering health care professionals to offer these choices.

Who developed the course?

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Online courses from The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 4 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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