Monday 15 April 2019

Launched today is a first-of-its-kind website for Ireland.

A valuable resource for parents who experience pregnancy loss or perinatal death, the website provides accurate and accessible information on a sensitive and often stigmatised subject, shares the latest research into the causes of baby loss, promotes emotional well-being, and offers details on how to access the appropriate support services.

“The website is a step forward in our commitment to consistent quality care for parents, as well as education and support for maternity staff while raising awareness of pregnancy loss and recognising its wide impact,” said Dr Keelin O’Donoghue, Consultant Obstetrician at Cork University Maternity Hospital and Principal Investigator at INFANT, Ireland’s only dedicated perinatal research centre.

Dr O’Donoghue and her team at INFANT, UCC, are leading investigations into the causes of pregnancy loss and perinatal death.

Pictured: Riona Cotter and Dr Keelin O’Donoghue

Supported by funding from the Irish Hospice Foundation, the website is an initiative of the Implementation Group for the National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death. The programme of implementation of the Standards was led by Dr O’Donoghue and HSE Programme Manager Riona Cotter.

The Standards, launched in August 2016, defined the care parents and families should receive following a pregnancy loss or perinatal death in all Irish maternity hospitals.

“This is an example of the excellent resources available through the INFANT centre at UCC that have a real-world impact and will make a difference to grieving parents and families,” commented INFANT Director, Professor Geraldine Boylan.

Irish Hospice Foundation CEO Sharon Foley acknowledged the impact that pregnancy loss and infant death has on families in Ireland.

“The IHF is very proud to support the new national pregnancy loss website. The loss of a child is devastating to any parent. Grieving parents should be able to access sensitive and consistent bereavement care at every stage of their journey and in every location throughout Ireland. Maternity hospitals play a vital role in supporting parents whose child dies following pregnancy and post birth. It is vital we support staff with tools and information which will equip them to give this bereavement care to parents. This new website will play a major role, I believe, in providing vital information to parents and staff following pregnancy and perinatal death in our hospitals.”

Pregnancy loss is the most common complication of pregnancy. The end of a pregnancy or the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and infant death can have a devastating and long-lasting impact on the woman, her partner, her other children and her extended family.