Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

The Loss of Precious Grieving Parents Children Is Leaving Overwhelmed

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

The Loss of Precious Grieving Parents Children Is Leaving Overwhelmed

Article excerpt

Sherele Moody

APN NEWSDESK

news@dailymercury.com

MORE than 70 precious little Mackay souls lost their lives in just 12 months.

As grieving mums and dads cradle their babies for the last time, they are often overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and inadequacy -- a result of out-of-date attitudes about miscarriage and stillbirths.

Special APN research has revealed 67 babies died as a result of miscarriage and six babies were stillborn at the city's public hospital last financial year.

The Queensland Health Department figures for 2013-14 were down on the previous reporting period, when 88 babies lost their lives.

Every year, about 106,000 Australian families experience reproductive loss.

Infant mortality experts say the community and health professionals need to reconsider how they talk to grieving parents.

Maternity care researcher Yvette Miller said many women she surveyed were traumatised when doctors, nurses and midwives used medical language to describe how and why babies had died.

"Mostly they said the professionals were kind and sensitive but... there were particular things people did that made it more difficult for them," the Queensland University of Technology associate professor said.

"Some of these included applying medical conventions to describe the loss rather than seeing it from the women's perspective, which is the loss of this prospective baby, this member of their family.

"For example, 'all I remember the doctor saying to us is it is not compatible with life'. What does that mean to the parent?"

Queensland Maternal and Perinatal Quality Council member David Ellwood said a shift in attitudes was needed.

"People who have experienced miscarriage get quite offended that it's not necessarily considered to be as serious a loss of a baby as a stillbirth is," the Griffith University obstetrics and gynaecology professor said. …

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