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Our Vision
Our Vision
Our vision is to reduce the devastating impact of stillbirth for women, families and the wider community through improving care to reduce the number of stillborn babies and to reduce the impact of this loss.
People + Partners
People + Partners
Meet the network of people, organisations, and professional institutions driving research and program implementation across the Stillbirth CRE.
Our work
Our Work
Explore some of the latest Stillbirth CRE research projects, scientific studies, and educational campaigns on stillbirth prevention and care after stillbirth.
Parent STories
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News + events
View the latest news and events from the Stillbirth CRE and our collaborating partners.
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Safer Baby in pregnancy
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Research and news

Our aim is to improve care to reduce the number of stillborn babies and to reduce the impact of this loss.
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Get Involved

Other Publications

In addition to the series already listed, the Stillbirth CRE has contributed research publications to a number of leading scientific journals and publications. Please see the below list for more information on recent papers or review our research programs.


Placenta Journal

Relationship between placental elastography, maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index and gestational weight gain

Authors:

Christopher Edwards, Erika Cavanagh, Sailesh Kumar, Vicki Clifton, Danielle Borg, Jacob Priddle, Wille Marie-Luise, Christopher Drovandi, Davide Fontanarosa.


Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Perinatal bereavement care during COVID-19 in Australian maternity settings

Authors:

Frances M Boyle, Dell Horey, Julie H Dean, Aditi Lohan, Philippa Middleton, Vicki Flenady.

Perinatal bereavement care is a complex area of practice. The COVID-19 pandemic led to reconfiguration of maternity and perinatal bereavement care services. This study explores Australian health care providers’ perspectives of the impact of COVID-19 on the provision of respectful and supportive care following stillbirth or neonatal death.


Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ANZJOG)

Neonatal death is a major concern for Indigenous women with asthma during pregnancy and could be prevented with better models of care

Authors:

Vicki L Clifton, Jui Das, Vicki Flenady, Kym Rae.

Asthma is the most common respiratory illness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. From the Mater Mothers routinely collected perinatal data in Brisbane we have identified that 24% of Indigenous and 17% of non-Indigenous women have pregnancies complicated by asthma. Indigenous women with asthma are more likely to have poorer birth outcomes when compared to non-Indigenous women with asthma, with neonatal death being doubled in asthmatic Indigenous women. These data indicate that asthma management during pregnancy is an unmet need for Indigenous women and essential if we are to avoid these devastat-ing outcomes for Indigenous families.


Guiding Conversations

Guiding Conversations with your healthcare team when your baby dies

Authors:

Fran Boyle, Stillbirth Foundation Australia, Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth.

This guide is based on the Clinical Practice Guideline for Care Around Stillbirth and Neonatal Death, which was developed in 2020 by the Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth (Stillbirth CRE) and the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand (PSANZ). The Clinical Practice Guideline is the most current and comprehensive
guideline to assist health care professionals in providing the best possible care for parents when their baby dies or is expected to die.


Keeling's Fetal and Neonatal Pathology

Epidemiology of Fetal and Neonatal Death

Authors:

Vicki Flenady, Jessica Sexton.

Background and objective:

A perinatal death refers to fetal or neonatal death; combined to calculate the perinatal mortality rate. High perinatal mortality rates indicate unmet public health needs and also deficiencies in clinical care provision. Epidemiological analyses aid in the identification and monitoring of prevention strategies. This chapter provides an overview of the epidemiology of fetal and neonatal death globally including numbers, rates, causes, risk factors and highlights issues which limit the utility of perinatal mortality as a measure of health and quality of care including classification systems to assign causes of perinatal deaths.


Oxford Bibliographies

Stillbirths

Authors:

Vicki Flenady, Chrissie Astell. Laura Singline, Aleena Wojcieszek, Jessica Sexton, David Ellwood, Philippa Middleton, Adrienne Gordon, Caroline Homer, Joshua Vogel, Alyce Wilson, Fran Boyle, Siobhan Loughnan, Christine Andrews.

Background and objective:

Stillbirth is a major public health problem that often has long-lasting psychological, social, and financial burden on parents and families. Globally, an estimated 1.9 million women every year will experience the tragedy of a late-gestation stillbirth (twenty-eight weeks or more). Due to paucity of data, stillbirths below twenty-eight weeks’ gestation are not included in global estimates, and therefore the current global estimate vastly underestimates the incidence of stillbirth.


Birth Issues in Perinatal Care

Inequitable use of health services for Indigenous mothers who experience stillbirth in Australia

Authors:

Emily Callander, Haylee Fox, Kyly Mills, Deanna Stuart-Butler, Philippa Middleton, David Ellwood, Joseph Thomas, Vicki Flenady.

Background and objective:

The purpose of this study was to identify differences in health service expenditure on Indigenous and non-Indigenous women who experience a stillbirth, women's out-of-pocket costs, and health service use.


JBI Evidence Synthesis

Nature-based interventions for bereavement care: a scoping review protocol

Authors:

Anne Cleary, Julie Dean, Danielle Pollock, Lisa McDaid, Fran Boyle

Background and objective:

The objective of this scoping review is to understand the types of nature-based interventions currently used in bereavement care and to map the theories of change explaining how such interventions may support bereavement care.


British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG)

My Baby’s Movements: a stepped-wedge cluster-randomised controlled trial of a fetal movement awareness intervention to reduce stillbirths

Authors:

Vicki Flenady, G Gardener, David Ellwood, M Coory, M Weller, KA Warrilow, PF Middleton, AM Wojcieszek, KM Groom, FM Boyle, C East, HLS Lawford, E Callander, JM Said, SP Walker, K Mahomed, C Andrews, A Gordon, JE Norman, C Crowther

Background and objective:

The My Baby’s Movements (MBM) trial aimed to evaluate the impact on stillbirth rates of a multifaceted awareness package (the MBM intervention).


Journal of Asthma

Maternal asthma during pregnancy and extremes of body mass index increase the risk of perinatal mortality: a retrospective cohort study

Authors:

Jui Das, Christine Andrews, Vicki Flenady and Vicki Clifton.

Background and objective:

Asthma during pregnancy and extremes of body mass index (BMI) are independently associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes but the impact of the two conditions combined are currently unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of maternal BMI to adverse birth outcomes in pregnancies complicated by asthma.


Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ANZJOG)

Neonatal death is a major concern for Indigenous women with asthma during pregnancy and could be prevented with better models of care

Authors:

Vicki Clifton, Jui Das, Vicki Flenady, Kym Rae

Background and objective:

Asthma is the most common respiratory illness in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. From the Mater Mothers routinely collected perinatal data in Brisbane we have identified that 24% of Indigenous and 17% of non-Indigenous women have pregnancies complicated by asthma. Indigenous women with asthma are more likely to have poorer birth outcomes when compared to non-Indigenous women with asthma, with neonatal death being doubled in asthmatic Indigenous women. These data indicate that asthma management during pregnancy is an unmet need for Indigenous women and essential if we are to avoid these devastating outcomes for Indigenous families.


British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) 

Parent engagement in perinatal mortality reviews: an online survey of clinicians from six high‐income countries

Lead author:

Fran Boyle

Background and objective:

Parent engagement in perinatal mortality review meetings following stillbirth may benefit parents and improve patient safety. We investigated perinatal mortality review meeting practices, including the extent of parent engagement, based on self‐reports from healthcare professionals from maternity care facilities in six high‐income countries.


The Lancet

An Individual Participant Data Meta-analysis of Maternal Going-to-Sleep Position, Interactions with Fetal Vulnerability, and the Risk of Late Stillbirth

Lead author:

Robin S Cronin

Background and objective:

Maternal supine going-to-sleep position has been associated with increased risk of late stillbirth (≥28 weeks), but it is unknown if the risk differs between right and left side, and if some pregnancies are more vulnerable.


The Lancet

Potential impact of midwives in preventing and reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and stillbirths: a Lives Saved Tool modelling study

Lead author:

Caroline Homer

Background and objective:

Strengthening the capacity of midwives to deliver high-quality maternal and newborn health services has been highlighted as a priority by global health organisations. To support low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) in their decisions about investments in health, we aimed to estimate the potential impact of midwives on reducing maternal and neonatal deaths and stillbirths under several intervention coverage scenarios.


Cochrane Library

Antenatal interventions for preventing stillbirth, fetal loss and perinatal death: an overview of Cochrane systematic reviews

Lead author:

Erika Ota

Background and objective:

Stillbirth is generally defined as a death prior to birth at or after 22 weeks' gestation. It remains a major public health concern globally. Antenatal interventions may reduce stillbirths and improve maternal and neonatal outcomes in settings with high rates of stillbirth. There are several key antenatal strategies that aim to prevent stillbirth including nutrition, and prevention and management of infections. The objective is to summarise the evidence from Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of antenatal interventions for preventing stillbirth for low risk or unselected populations of women.


BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth

Implementation and evaluation of a quality improvement initiative to reduce late gestation stillbirths in Australia: Safer Baby Bundle study protocol

Lead author:

Christine Andrews

Background and objective:

In 2015, the stillbirth rate after 28 weeks (late gestation) in Australia was 35% higher than countries with the lowest rates globally. Reductions in late gestation stillbirth rates have steadily improved in Australia. However, to amplify and sustain reductions, more needs to be done to reduce practice variation and address suboptimal care. Implementing bundles for maternity care improvement in the UK have been associated with a 20% reduction in stillbirth rates. A similar approach is underway in Australia; the Safer Baby Bundle (SBB) with five elements: 1) supporting women to stop smoking in 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, 5) improving decision making about the timing of birth for women with risk factors for stillbirth.


Women and Birth

Survey of Australian maternity hospitals to inform development and implementation of a stillbirth prevention 'bundle of care'

Lead author:

Christine Andrews

Background and objective:

‘Bundles of care’ are being implemented to improve key practice gaps in perinatal care. As part of our development of a stillbirth prevention bundle, we consulted with Australian maternity care providers. The objective is to gain the insights of Australian maternity care providers to inform the development and implementation of a bundle of care for stillbirth prevention.


BMC Childbirth

My Baby’s Movements: a stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial to raise maternal awareness of fetal movements during pregnancy study protocol

Lead author:

Vicki Flenady

Background and objective:

Stillbirth is a devastating pregnancy outcome that has a profound and lasting impact on women and families. Globally, there are over 2.6 million stillbirths annually and progress in reducing these deaths has been slow. Maternal perception of decreased fetal movements (DFM) is strongly associated with stillbirth. However, maternal awareness of DFM and clinical management of women reporting DFM is often suboptimal. The My Baby’s Movements trial aims to evaluate an intervention package for maternity services including a mobile phone application for women and clinician education (MBM intervention) in reducing late gestation stillbirth rates.

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