Postnatal care after a stillbirth

Information about postnatal care and appointments for mothers following a stillbirth

Different areas and hospitals have slightly different plans of care for women after you give birth to your baby. But your postnatal care should happen as follows:

  • The hospital will get in touch with your GP, community midwife and health visitor to let them know what has happened.
  • They’ll be able to continue offering you care and support after you leave hospital. For example, you may have questions about what’s normal for recovery, or, if you had stitches, you might like a community midwife to check them if they are painful.
  • You should have a six-week post-natal check-up.
  • You should have an appointment to talk to a doctor or consultant at the hospital about the birth and a post-mortem if you had one. You can also talk about any postnatal issues at this appointment.

If you don’t hear from your GP, a community midwife or bereavement midwife within a few days of arriving home, contact your local surgery to find out what has happened. Most GPs will see you at home if you feel you can’t go to the surgery.

Postnatal check

Your six-week postnatal check up is usually at your GP surgery or hospital.

This routine appointment is primarily to check the mother’s physical recovery after giving birth. However, you may want to attend as a couple so you can talk about how you’re both coping. You might want to ask questions about trying for another baby, the care you might get in future pregnancies, or discuss contraception options to give yourself some more time.

Consultant hospital appointment

You should have an appointment with a consultant a your hospital to discuss your stillbirth and baby specifically.

Some tips to prepare for appointments

  • When you make the appointment, you might want to explain before you go in that you’d prefer not to wait with mothers and newborn babies.
  • Prepare by writing down your questions. You might find you are emotional in this appointment so it helps to take some notes with you.
  • Please be aware follow up appointments do differ depending on where you live, so you might want to speak to your GP or hospital on the phone to find out more about what your appointment involves before attending it.

More practical information

Dealing with physical issues after the birth

Planning a funeral

Deciding whether or not to have a postmortem

Registering a stillbirth

Review dates
Last reviewed: 07 September 2017
Next review: 07 September 2020