In 1978, my first child died during childbirth. And only a few months later, my best friend, Susan Borg, had a similarly horrible experience. In our many conversations to help each other heal, we realized that we had both looked for something helpful to read and found nothing. We decided that we would fill that gap, and we began researching the literature and interviewing bereaved parents, family members, and professionals who had worked with bereaved families. The result was When Pregnancy Fails, Families Coping with Miscarriage, Ectopic Pregnancy, Stillbirth, and Infant Death, published by Beacon Press in 1981 and revised and published by Bantam Books in 1988.
The prevalence of perinatal loss and the great interest in the book led to further research: an NIH-funded longitudinal study, co-led by psychologist Lori Toedter, of 174 bereaved mothers and fathers. With vital assistance from Louise Potvin and our staff at Lehigh University, we developed the Perinatal Grief Scale, the first social science tool designed to measure grief following reproductive loss.
The PGS, a 33-item measure, has been widely used and validated around the world for many types of loss around pregnancy, and it has also been translated into multiple languages. It is available for anyone to use without permission or cost.
Here are the Perinatal Grief Scaleand scoring instructions:
Here are the translations, validations for use of the translations, or other associated country-specific research about the Perinatal Grief Scale.