This study is now complete.
The death of a baby before or shortly after birth is devastating. Many bereaved parents embark on another pregnancy relatively soon. However, worry and anxiety are common. Too much stress can contribute to problems before and after birth, and may affect the long-term health of both the mother and baby.
Women who have previously had a stillbirth or neonatal death are sometimes offered extra appointments or tests in pregnancy to provide reassurance about their own and the baby’s wellbeing. However, the care provided may not be the same in different hospitals or areas of the country. We currently know very little about women’s experiences of care and the extra support they would find helpful, when it should be provided and by whom.
This study explored the views and experiences of women, their partners and health professionals. We found that while many women reported high-quality care, they did not all receive adequate emotional and psychological support. Our work shows a need to improve the education for staff and the delivery of support services so that all bereaved parents have access to the care they need following loss. We hope to develop and test a specific intervention to improve antenatal support for these women.
Findings from this study will be used to improve the care given to women who have suffered stillbirth in our Rainbow Clinic, to help parents who have suffered feel supported and able to move forward.
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Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. We can keep you updated on our research news. If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.
This study took place in a Tommy's centre and was funded by Tommy's and the National Institute for Health ResearchHide details
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Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.
The day before Mother’s Day, and two days before the UK officially went into coronavirus lockdown, Zara Dawson found out she was having a miscarriage. Her third consecutive miscarriage in less than a year, and fourth consecutive loss, after losing her second son Jesse in 2018 to termination for medical reasons.
As research shows half of UK mums are experiencing mental health problems in coronavirus lockdown, we've joined forces with Elvie on #TheBigSqueeze campaign to help Tommy's midwives continue to provide their vital support virtually during the pandemic.