Amplifying Support: Caring for Families After Pregnancy Loss and Proactively Addressing Prevention

Approximately 1/4 pregnant people will experience pregnancy loss and 1/170 pregnancies on average each year end in stillbirth. The stillbirth rate in the US has been stagnant for some time and this is in part due to a lack of efforts at stillbirth prevention due to the fatalistic belief that stillbirth cannot be prevented. A 2018 ACOG article, “Potentially Preventable Stillbirth in a Diverse US Cohort” found that 25% of all stillbirths and 47% at term may be potentially preventable. Black parents are 2-3 times more likely to experience stillbirth than other races. This a health disparity that must be addressed.

Currently, there is no formal teaching for residents, CNM, or medical students about the care of loss families. Doulas are on the front line of emotional care for our patients and some simple tips can help provide bereavement care for patients experiencing pregnancy loss. In this presentation, Dr. Heather Florescue and Dr. Lindsey Wimmer will discuss stillbirth and its causes.  They will explore ways that doulas can be at the frontline of prevention by educating their clients and encouraging advocacy when their clients believe that something is wrong and will discuss the care of loss families including ways to improve care and help with the grieving process.