A new program providing education and awareness designed specifically to reduce rates of stillbirth across Australia has been launched at Mackay Hospital and Health Service.
These elements are smoking cessation support, detection and management of fetal growth restriction, awareness of decreased fetal movement, side sleeping after 28 weeks and shared decision making around timing of birth for women with risk factors for stillbirth.
“Each day six families across Australia experience the heartbreak of losing their baby to stillbirth, a rate that has changed little in two decades, Ms Bohn said.
“Stillbirth changes so many people’s lives and we see firsthand the devastating impact it has on families. Sadly, on average, one baby each month is stillborn across Mackay HHS.
“The Safer Baby Bundle ensures best practices are in place to identify and manage the risks that can result in a stillborn baby.”
Ms Bohn said the program’s elements inform women and encourage them to reflect on their habits and actions.
“We know that educating and providing the right information to our expectant mothers will help them make informed choices for themselves and their babies.
“The program supports clinicians in the provision of best practice care by having conversations around the Safer Baby Bundle elements and personalising care throughout the mother’s pregnancy.
“This collaborative approach will help women have a safe and positive pregnancy, reducing the risks of stillbirth.”
Ms Bohn said that the Mackay HHS Safer Baby Bundle project team has been working closely with women’s health clinicians to implement the program.
“Clinicians have undertaken a suite of evidence-based educational resources on the latest clinical best practice in stillbirth prevention,” she said.
“The educational program covers each element of the bundle and includes both face-to-face skills development and eLearning.”
The Safer Baby Bundle has been adapted from a similar suite of resources delivered in the United Kingdom that achieved the 20 per cent reduction in stillbirth.
“Queensland’s safer baby bundle includes three from the UK (movement, restriction and smoking) and adds two elements – sleep position and timing,” she said.
The Safer Baby Bundle was developed by the Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth in partnership with the Stillbirth Foundation Australia, Still Aware and health departments across Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.
More information on the Safer Baby Bundle program is available at saferbaby.org.au.