New funding to better support parents touched by stillbirth

Friday 22 February 2019

The Stillbirth Foundation Australia and the Centre for Research Excellence in Stillbirth (Stillbirth CRE) have announced new research funding to better support parents who have experienced stillbirth.

The $40,000 grant has been awarded to the Mater Research Institute—University of Queensland (MRI-UQ) to develop a parent-version of the national clinical guidelines on care around stillbirth and neonatal death.

Stillbirth affects more than 2000 Australian families each year, yet many stillbirths are preventable.

Research lead A/Prof Fran Boyle said the grant represents a collaborative approach to addressing stillbirth research priorities. 

“The tragedy of stillbirth has a long-lasting impact on parents, families and all those involved and our aim with this project is to improve the care given to parents and families after stillbirth,” A/Prof Boyle said.

For the past 20 years the rate of stillbirth in Australia has not changed.

The Stillbirth CRE represents the first national research effort dedicated to addressing the excess loss of lives in Australia through stillbirth

Director of the Stillbirth CRE Professor Vicki Flenady said the resources developed would assist parents and their healthcare providers to ensure optimal individualised care.

“This funding is vitally important in addressing stillbirth research priorities in Australia to improve care for families after stillbirth and highlights the leading partnership between the Stillbirth CRE and Stillbirth Foundation,” Professor Flenady said.

“By working collaboratively with research organisations across the country we can bring the best people together to ensure more healthy births and better support for families.”

Stillbirth Foundation Australia CEO, Kate Lynch, said the funding will work to better support families touched by stillbirth.

“Stillbirth leaves a lasting impact on families and far more needs to be done to better support families immediately after a stillbirth occurs.

“This research will work to change this and ensure there are guidelines and structures in place to better support families going through stillbirth.