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Labour and birth

Aim to provide an appropriate environment and sensitive, compassionate care from all staff attending to the woman and her family as she delivers her baby.

Families tell us they are not always treated sensitively. Staff are often not aware that the baby has died and not always conscious of the different needs they have.

What do we need to do?

  • Ensure a room suitable for the woman, her family and their bereavement care is available and ready for them when the mother’s medical condition permits.
  • Maternity services should aim to provide a dedicated bereavement/family room, away from the labour ward, and consult local support organisations on design and facilities.
  • Ensure continuity of carer through to delivery where possible and if a change in staff is necessary, introduce them sensitively.
  • Ensure all staff seeing parents during labour and birth are aware of the baby’s death and communicate sensitively.
  • If she wishes, enable the woman to have a partner or support person with her at all times. Check the woman is happy for you to keep her partner or support person informed. Provide the partner or support person with emotional support.
  • Begin or continue the conversation about and planning for memory making.
  • If there is a stillbirth in a multiple pregnancy, parents face the challenge of simultaneously experiencing a live born baby and a baby who has died. Support the family by focusing equally on the baby who has died and the surviving sibling or siblings.

How will we know we have achieved our aim?

Families will tell us they felt well supported during labour and birth, were cared for in an appropriate environment and all staff were sensitive to their needs.

Staff will say they feel confident they were able to provide an appropriate place of care for labour and delivery, and able to integrate bereavement and clinical care.

Go to Memory making

We were then brought back in 2 days later and the care was perfect. I was in just after 9am, didn’t get started until 1pm. I can’t fault the staff and paperwork was done well – I wanted an epidural. We were in the family room, not the labour ward. She was born at 12:30. She was perfect – my husband held her until the warmth left her. We got loads of pictures and cuddles. Had the whole day with her.
Even when I was labouring, the baby’s heart was strong, but under viability – he was going to die. Just as I was getting ready to push, one staff member said he might die during labour.
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