Stillbirth Clinical Care Standard

08 November 2022

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has endorsed and supports the release of the new Stillbirth Clinical Care Standard developed by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

The first national standard of care for stillbirth aims to reduce the stillbirth rate and overcome the stigma attached to the experience.

The new standard provides a framework for healthcare practitioners to identify stillbirth risks, communicate effectively with women about reducing risk, discuss clinical investigations after stillbirth, and provide support after any perinatal loss.

The standard was developed in response to an action in the Australian Government’s National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan, as part of a strategy to reduce rates of stillbirth after 28 weeks by 20 per cent over five years. It is aligned with the Safer Baby Bundle program being implemented in maternity services around Australia.

While not all stillbirths can be prevented, research shows that in 20 to 30 per cent of cases, the death may have been avoided with optimal care.

For the first time, the standard provides a benchmark for best practice care for reducing preventable stillbirths and offering bereavement care. It also provides a pathway to close the equity gaps from cultural and geographic barriers.

The new guidance is relevant to all healthcare practitioners involved in providing care during pregnancy, and after stillbirth or other forms of perinatal loss – particularly midwives, nurses, general practitioners, obstetricians, sonographers, radiologists, perinatal pathologists and bereavement care specialists.

Download the Stillbirth Clinical Care Standard and other resources at safetyandquality.gov.au/stillbirth-ccs

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