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Working together to reduce stillbirths across Australia with Safer Baby Bundle

Tuesday 9 March 2021

Working together to reduce stillbirths across Australia with Safer Baby Bundle

Stillbirth is a tragedy and unfortunately is not a rare event, having an enormous impact on parents and their wider family and friends, as well as on healthcare providers.

It affects more than 2,000 Australian families each year (six babies lost each day), yet many stillbirths are preventable.*

Mater Mothers’ Hospitals have joined hands with the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence in reducing stillbirth rates in Australia by 20% over the next three years.

The new Safer Baby Bundle initiative is a collection of change ideas or interventions designed to reduce late pregnancy stillbirth. The interventions are based on evidence summaries developed in partnership with the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ).

Manager of Parent Education and Support Services, Kathleen Goldsmith, said this initiative highlights the importance of researchers and healthcare professionals working together to prevent stillbirth.

“The Safer Baby Bundle program has created five elements that women and their healthcare team can work through together, to reduce the risk after the 28th week of pregnancy,” Kathleen said.

“Each element is like a checkpoint, so women can reflect on their behaviour and habits and reset their actions if needed—it’s a checkpoint for our clinical teams too, so we’re asking the right questions and personalising care every step of the way”.

All maternity healthcare professionals are encouraged to review the new guidelines and become involved in providing lifesaving care for our smallest, most vulnerable patients.

There are five key ways to help prevent stillbirth, based on the latest research and clinical best practice, which make up the ‘bundles’:

  1. Supporting women to stop smoking during pregnancy.
  2. Improving detection and management of fetal growth restriction.
  3. Raising awareness and improving care for women with decreased fetal movements.
  4. Improving awareness of maternal safe going-to-sleep position in late pregnancy (sleep on side).
  5. Improving decision-making about the timing of birth for women with risk factors for stillbirth.

“We really want to encourage our Mater mums to check in with themselves and keep the lines of communication open with their healthcare team so that we can all work toward delivering a healthy, happy baby together,” Kathleen said.

For more information about Safer Baby Bundle you can visit the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence website.


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