Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Loss of Little Ones a Deep Grief; Terms. Sherele Moody Shares Their Stories

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Loss of Little Ones a Deep Grief; Terms. Sherele Moody Shares Their Stories

Article excerpt

THIRTY-two precious little Gladstone 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cradle their babies for the last time, they are often overwhelmed by feelings of guilt and inadequacy - a result of out-of-date attitudes about miscarriage and stillbirths.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 28 babies died as a result of miscarriage and four babies were stillborn at the city's base hospital last financial year.

The Queensland Health Department figures for 2013-14 were the same as the previous reporting period.

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

Across the nation, about 103,000 deaths occur during early pregnancy, 2250 babies are stillborn and about 750 die in the first 28 days after birth.

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.

"They used language that was very medical and didn't actually fit with their experience and that made them quite confused as well.

"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. …

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