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National Safer Baby Bundle Forum to shine focus on stillbirth and inequity across Australia

June 16, 2021

Maternity healthcare professionals from across Australia will join virtually tomorrow for a two-day forum to discuss the latest research in stillbirth prevention and promote national collaboration in a bid to reduce Australia’s stillbirth rate, particularly in communities that shoulder the burden of stillbirth in Australia.

Hosted by the NHRMC Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth (Stillbirth CRE), the first National Safer Baby Bundle Virtual Forum brings together healthcare professionals, researchers, advocates and policy makers from across the country to share best practices around the implementation of the five elements of the Safer Baby Bundle.

Developed in partnership with health jurisdictions and the Stillbirth CRE, the Safer Baby Bundle is a set of evidence-based clinical resources and interventions designed to reduce the rate of late gestation stillbirth by 20 per cent.

In Australia, more than 2,000 families experience the tragedy of stillbirth every year; a rate that has changed little in two decades. Many stillbirths could be avoided with the provision of better care.

The five elements of the Safer Baby Bundle focus on:

  1. Supporting women to stop smoking in pregnancy.
  2. Improving the detection and management of fetal growth restriction.
  3. Raising awareness and improving care for women with decreased fetal movements.
  4. Improving awareness of the importance of going to sleep on either side after 28 weeks.
  5. Improving shared decision-making about the timing of birth for women with risk factors for stillbirth.

The virtual forum will be the first time researchers and maternity health professionals from jurisdictions where the bundle has launched—QLD, NSW, VIC, WA, and the ACT—have met to share best practices and communicate with colleagues in states and territories where roll-out is expected to commence this year.

Stillbirth CRE director Professor Vicki Flenady said the forum would also focus on how to reach diverse communities to reduce the disparities in stillbirth rates that currently exist.

“Rates of stillbirth among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are double that of other Australian women,” Professor Flenady said. “We need to focus on providing high quality antenatal care for all women, but particularly those with stillbirth risk factors.”

Women living in rural and remote regions, and those from non-English speaking migrant and refugee communities also experience much higher stillbirth rates.

More than 600 people are expected to attend the virtual forum across all states and territories.

ENDS

Learn more about the 2021 National Safer Baby Bundle Virtual Forum https://cvent.me/d9r3oP

The Centre of Research Excellence  in Stillbirth is a national collaboration addressing the tragedy of stillbirth, administered by the Mater Research Institute – University of Queensland (MRI-UQ). The Stillbirth CRE aims to reduce the rate of stillbirth and improve care for parents and families whose baby is stillborn in Australia. For more information about the Stillbirth CRE, visit www.stillbirthcre.org.au

Media contact:


Laura Singline

The Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth

07 3163 3829

stillbirthcre@mater.uq.edu.au


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