Losing a baby at any stage of pregnancy is a devastating and traumatic experience. For many parents, it is a sudden and unexpected loss that often goes unexplained because the cause is unknown.
Although Australia is one of the safest places to give birth, 6 babies are lost to stillbirth every day, and that number has not dropped in 20 years.
Today the Federal Government announced a new program called the Safer Baby Bundle. Developed principally by the Centre for Research Excellence in Stillbirth, it’s an education and awareness package for parents and health professionals that aims to reduce the rates of stillbirth in Australia.
It is believed that up to 1 in 5 stillbirths could be prevented by providing better education to pregnant women on the risk factors. For example, helping women to stop smoking, helping parents to understand their baby's movements and advising on safe sleeping positions (particularly in late pregnancy).
The program incorporates eLearning modules for doctors, midwives and other professionals involved in the care of pregnant women. This further training will help health professionals be better at identifying risk factors for stillbirth, and more able to offer support and guidance throughout pregnancy.
The Safer Baby Bundle package will also contribute $1.3 million to Sands Australia for intensive 'Hospital to Home' support services, and $1.2 million to the University of Melbourne for research into minimising preventable stillbirths in late pregnancy.