New ABS stillbirth stats highlight need for increased focus on bereavement care

The release of new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that rates of miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death decreased by only 0.04% nationally during 2016, highlighting the continuing need for quality bereavement care and support for affected families.

Each month in Australia 143 babies are stillborn and a further 58 die within the first 28 days of life, while miscarriage rates remain even higher still.

Sands Australia is a not-for-profit organisation that provides emotional support, information and hope to families following the death of a baby during pregnancy or shortly after birth.

Sands CEO Andre Carvalho said that demand for its peer support services remains high as bereaved parents learn to navigate the complexities of life after the loss of their child.

“Our community of trained Volunteer Parent Supporters offer families whose baby has died a real sense of understanding because they’ve lived through this devastation too.”

Alongside its core focus on offering peer-to-peer support, Sands Australia also works to improve the quality of bereavement care offered to parents in healthcare and community settings.

“When families have access to comprehensive and accessible bereavement care they are better able to come to terms with and grieve their loss. With perinatal deaths totalling almost 2,500 a year, it’s crucial that we are able to provide families with emotional and practical support and guidance,” said Mr Carvalho.

Sands Australia operates across Australia, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby through its 24/7 Sands support line 1300 0 72637 and at www.sands.org.au.