October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
Stillbirth is one of the most devastating events a family can experience. It is often a hidden tragedy that causes significant personal, social and financial consequences for parents and families.
In Australia, stillbirth is the birth of a baby who has died either:
• any time from 20 weeks into the pregnancy
• weighing 400 g or more at birth.
The still birth rate in Australia is not reducing remaining between 6 and 7 still births per 1,000 births, despite $7 million being allocated to reduce stillbirth in Australia.
In many cases stillbirth is preventable and research shows 20-30% of stillbirths could be avoided.
Why is this so? Until midwifery led continuity of care is clearly stated as a core component to reduce stillbirth, there will be no change to the status quo and women will continue to experience stillbirth.
Statement from the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence: The advantages of continuity of carer