Thursday, April 18, 2013

Perinatal Loss: Interview with Sarah Kye Price, Ph.D.

[Episode 79] Today's Social Work Podcast is on perinatal loss. Perinatal loss includes ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion (which most people call miscarriage), late-pregnancy loss or stillbirth, and neonatal or newborn death.

In today's episode, I spoke with one of the profession's leading scholars and experts on perinatal loss, associate professor of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, Dr. Sarah Kye Price.

We talked why it is important to do a thorough assessment of pregnancy and pregnancy-related loss during a biopsychosocialspiritual assessment. She talked about the importance of allowing mothers / parents to tell their story. She pointed out that, although no loss is worse than any other, there are different intensities and needs depending on the loss.  She also noted that families in which there was a perinatal loss, there can also be growth. We talked about the different types of interventions and treatment approaches for individuals and families who experience perinatal loss. We ended our conversation with resources for people interested in learning more.

Download MP3 [55:03]



Sarah Kye Price is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University.  She received her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis and her MSW from Syracuse University.  She currently teaches courses in direct social work practice and crisis intervention/planned short-term treatment in the MSW program, as well as research methods and program evaluation in the Doctoral program.  Her prior direct practice experiences include work as a Grief Therapist for Life Transitions Center in Buffalo, NY and the coordinator of SIDS family support services in both Western New York and the St. Louis, Missouri metro region.  Her research and publications focus on the socio-cultural and psychosocial experiences of reproductive and perinatal loss, as well as women’s mental health within low-income communities disproportionately affected by fetal and infant mortality.  She is currently funded through the National Institutes for Health via the VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research KL2 Scholar program, working in partnership with maternal and child health home visiting programs in Virginia to implement and evaluate the Enhanced Engagement model of MCH home visiting which integrates mental health services, including bereavement support, into existing health promotion programs for pregnant and parenting women in low-income communities.  Her vision is create a responsive tier of services that integrates bereavement support and mental health promotion fluidly…and without stigma…into existing services supporting pregnant and postpartum women.  Dr. Price is the Past President of the Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA), a national non-profit organization whose mission is to support the work of professionals who support grieving families.  


Phone: (804) 828-0579




  • Price, S.K., & McLeod, D.A. (2012).Definitional distinctions in response to perinatal loss and fertility barriers. Illness, Crisis, & Loss, 20(3), 255-273.
  • Price, S.K. & Handrick, S.L. (2009). A culturally relevant and responsive approach to screening for perinatal depression. Research on Social Work Practice, 19, 705-714. doi: 10.1177/1049731508329401
  • Price, S.K. & Proctor, E.K. (2009). A rural perspective on perinatal depression: Prevalence, correlates, and implications for community service enhancement. Journal of Rural Health, 25(2), 158-166.
  • Price, S.K. (2008). Women and reproductive loss: Client-worker dialogues designed to break the silence. Social Work, 53(4), 367-376.
  • Price, S.K. (2008). Stepping back to gain perspective: Pregnancy loss history, depression, and parenting capacity in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort (ECLS-B). Death Studies, 32(2), 97-122.
  • Price, S.K. (2007). Social work, siblings, and SIDS: Conceptual and case-based guidance for family system intervention. Journal of Social Work in End-of-life & Palliative Care, 3(3), 81-101.
  • Price, S.K. (2006). Prevalence and correlates of pregnancy loss history in a national sample of children and families. Maternal and Child Health Journal 10, 489-500.
  • Price, S.K. (2002). An alternative view on mothers holding stillborn babies. Medscape Women's Health 7(4), 10.
References mentioned in the interview
  • Doka, K. (2002).  Disenfranchised grief: New directions, challenges, and strategies for practice.  Champaign, IL: Research Press.
  • Layne, L.L. (2003).  Motherhood lost: A feminist account of pregnancy loss in America.  New York: Routledge
  • Seftel, L. (2006).  Grief unseen: Healing pregnancy loss through the arts.  London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers


Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA):
  • PLIDA is an international member organization of perinatal bereavement providers including nurses, social workers, chaplains, physicians, public health providers and health advocates who work directly with families experiencing perinatal and infant death.  PLIDA’s mission is to support the work of those whose work supports grieving families through promoting provider education, community awareness, and networking support providers with each other.
Mothers in Sympathy and Support (MISS) Foundation:
  • The MISS Foundation is active in both support and advocacy for families experiencing the death of a child at any time, including deaths occurring during pregnancy or childbirth.  The founder and Executive Director of the MISS Foundation, Joanne Cacciatore, is also a social work faculty member at Arizona State University and has dedicated her career to support and advocacy, including leading the national MISSing Angels bill initiatve.
SHARE Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support:
  • SHARE is a hospital and community based support program with chapters throughout the United States.  SHARE’s work creates meaningful connections between the health system and ongoing community-based peer support.  They also offer an extensive, moderated online support group for families affected by perinatal loss.
Bereavement Services/Resolve Through Sharing:
  • Bereavement services has worked to create a comprehensive training curriculum emphasizing relationship-based care of families impacted by perinatal loss and infant death.  They offer nation-wide training for those who wish to provide bereavement support and/or group facilitation at both basic and advanced levels as well as train-the-trainer and professional certification in bereavement support.
Hygeia Foundation:
  • Named after the Greek goddess of health and wellness, the Hygeia Foundation offers a wide range of support related to reproductive health and loss issues from ectopic and molar pregnancy, to complex diseases impacting neonatal health.  In addition to bereavement support, the foundation works with low-income families to provide burial assistance.
Secret Club Project:
  • This collection of art produced by over 30 individuals impacted by perinatal loss travels in national exhibitions, telling the stories of life impacted by a pregnancy loss or infant death.  The website features many of the works of art in the collection; the exhibit can travel to communities around the country.  Instructions for submitting art to the Secret Club Project are also available on the website.

APA (6th ed) citation for this podcast:

Singer, J. B. (Host). (2013, April 18). Perinatal loss: Interview with Sarah Kye Price, Ph.D. [Episode 79]. Social Work Podcast. Podcast retrieved Month Day, Year, from

1 comment:

Seasons Counseling, LLC said...

Hi Jonathan-I just came across your website as I was trying to find some info pertaining to perinatal loss for a new client I am seeing. I was so impressed with the information and LOVED Sarah Kye Price's podcast. Thank you for making this resource available to professionals. She gave me some fantastic best practices to utilize in my upcoming session. Appreciatively, Jennifer, LPC-MHSP