First-hand accounts of premature baby loss inspires new resource

June 14, 2018, University of Leicester

A new resource has been launched based on the first-hand experiences of parents whose baby died before, during or shortly after birth at 20 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The resource aims to support , loved ones and . Visitors to the website can watch videos of parents talking about topics such as finding out something was wrong, of labour and giving birth, seeing and spending time with their baby, making memories and the long term emotional impact.

This work was led by Dr. Lucy Smith at the University of Leicester and Dr. Lisa Hinton at the University of Oxford who travelled around the UK talking to 38 parents in their own homes about experiences of baby loss.

Pregnancy normally lasts for 40 weeks. The death of a baby who is born alive and dies shortly after birth is officially registered whatever stage of they are born at. However there is no formal registration of born showing no signs of life before 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The researchers found this impacts on parents in both practical and emotional ways. When a parent's loss was referred to as a "miscarriage" they often felt unprepared for the experience of labour and birth and the lack of an official or death registration meant that many parents felt their loss was not acknowledged and they suffered additional stress as they were not eligible for parental leave and maternity pay.

The work is part of Healthtalk.org which is a resource offering access to people's experiences of over 100 health conditions and related issues.

Dr. Lucy Smith, an NIHR Career Development Fellow from the University of Leicester, said: "The experience of losing a baby is devastating but the impact of losing a baby just before the legal stillbirth registration limit of 24 weeks is rarely recognised.

"We hope this resource will provide support to these families who often feel overlooked and welcome the Department of Health and Social Care review of parents' rights to register their baby.

"We really want to thank all of the parents who offered to share their personal experiences and the help of support organisations (Sands, the Miscarriage Association and Antenatal Research and Choices)."

Explore further: Support for new parents is just a click away

Related Stories

Support for new parents is just a click away

November 10, 2014
New parents and their partners have a new online resource to help them feel less isolated and alone.

'Safe sleep' advice to prevent cot deaths not always being taken

May 24, 2018
A substantial proportion of parents do not follow the advice they are being given to make sleep safer for their baby. This is one of the findings of the Safe Sleep Survey, whose results were published this week. Ignoring ...

Silence around stillbirth a major issue for bereaved parents

March 2, 2018
What's the biggest obstacle facing bereaved parents after losing a child at birth? Society's unwillingness to discuss it openly, says UniSA Ph.D. candidate Danielle Pollock, whose first child, Sofia, was stillborn four years ...

Parents need to be listened to after loss of baby to improve care

April 9, 2014
An independent study giving a national picture of the NHS care experienced by parents of babies who died before or during birth, or as newborns, has been undertaken by Oxford University researchers, working in conjunction ...

Parents of newborn babies not aware of consequences of screening

October 2, 2017
A team of University of Manchester researchers have found that changes are urgently needed in how parents are informed about newborn bloodspot screening to ensure they understand it and its consequences for them and their ...

Depression after miscarriage can continue even after healthy birth

March 9, 2011
Women who experience depression and anxiety after a miscarriage continue to experience these symptoms even if they subsequently go on to have a healthy child, according to a study of pregnant women from the Avon Longitudinal ...

Recommended for you

Blood test may identify gestational diabetes risk in first trimester

August 16, 2018
A blood test conducted as early as the 10th week of pregnancy may help identify women at risk for gestational diabetes, a pregnancy-related condition that poses potentially serious health risks for mothers and infants, according ...

Artificial placenta created in the laboratory

August 14, 2018
In order to better understand important biological membranes, it is necessary to explore new methods. Researchers at Vienna University of Technology (Vienna) have succeeded in creating an artificial placental barrier on a ...

The inequalities of prenatal stress

August 14, 2018
Exposure to an acute stress in utero can have long-term consequences extending into childhood – but only among children in poor households, according to a new Stanford study that looked at the long-term impact of acute, ...

Better studies needed on effectiveness of fertility awareness-based methods for contraception

August 10, 2018
A new systematic review provides the most comprehensive assessment to date on the scientific evidence estimating the effectiveness of various fertility awareness-based methods (FABMs) for contraception. "Effectiveness of ...

Inducing labor at 39 weeks reduces likelihood of C-sections

August 8, 2018
Inducing labor in healthy first-time mothers in the 39th week of pregnancy results in lower rates of cesarean sections compared with waiting for labor to begin naturally at full term, according to a multicenter study funded ...

Three-dimensional model of human placenta developed

August 3, 2018
The placenta is the organ connecting mother and embryo. Its main functions are the exchange of nutrients, gases and metabolic products and the production of hormones and other substances essential for embryonic development. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.