Pregnancy after a previous stillbirth
In Australia, stillbirth is defined as the birth of a baby without signs of life after 20 weeks’ gestation. About 2000 families experience the tragedy of stillbirth in Australia every year.
Mercy Perinatal recognises that women who have experienced the loss of a baby due to stillbirth require specialist pre-pregnancy advice, investigation, and extra support during their next pregnancy. Investigations for possible causes of the prior stillbirth, pregnancy planning, effective preventative treatments, and first trimester antenatal care is provided in this clinic, which includes fetal ultrasound and supportive counselling. Ongoing antenatal care after 14 weeks is usually arranged with the woman’s preferred maternity care team.
The STAR (Stillbirth and Reproductive Loss) clinic also offers ongoing obstetric care for women whose unborn baby has been diagnosed with a severe life-limiting condition (e.g. anencephaly, or a lethal chromosome condition). Shared decision-making around birth and supportive paediatric care are discussed with the paediatric and obstetric teams, with pastoral care and social work support.