PLRG Members and Aims

Pregnancy Loss Research Group group photo corridor

The Pregnancy Loss Research Group came together formally in 2012 and now meets monthly at CUMH.

Consultant Obstetrician and Senior Lecturer, Professor Keelin O’Donoghue leads the group.

The research aims of the group are:

  • Examine the lived experiences of men and women who have experienced early pregnancy loss, late miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death as well as those who have had pregnancies complicated by fatal fetal anomaly.
  • Examine lifestyles and psycho-social demographic factors as well as risk factors associated with all types of pregnancy loss.
  • Explore the psychological and spiritual needs of bereaved parents.
  • Explore bereaved parents’ attitudes and experiences, and assess how this interacts with biological or socio-demographic causes of pregnancy loss.
  • Improve population awareness and understanding of the prevalence and impact of pregnancy loss.
  • Develop evidence-based behaviour change interventions targeting modifiable risk factors for stillbirth.
  • Discover bereaved parents’ attitudes to post-mortem investigations, including autopsy and examination of the role of the Coroner. 
  • Examine the impact of pregnancy loss for the next pregnancy on parents and healthcare professionals and to explore the specific experiences of pregnancy after stillbirth.
  • Examine children’s experiences after the death of a sibling through perinatal death.
  • Improve understanding and increase awareness of the consequences of pregnancy loss amongst healthcare professionals
  • Explore population knowledge and incidence of fatal fetal anomaly, and experiences of both volunteers and fetal medicine specialists in supporting and caring for parents who experience a pregnancy with a fatal fetal anomaly.
  • Analyse the methodology and structure of local and national perinatal mortality reviews, focussing on recurrent themes and implementation of recommendations, as well as the involvement of staff and the role of bereaved parents in reviews.
  • Identify risk factors for perinatal mortality in multiple pregnancy in Ireland and to examine the current maternity services and service needs for this cohort.
  • Examine the investigation and management practices in recurrent miscarriage with a focus on subsequent pregnancy outcomes and service provision in this area, including for those patients with coexisting infertility. 
  • Develop educational resources and provide education and professional development for all healthcare professionals involved in pregnancy loss.


Current members include:

  • Professor Keelin O’Donoghue, Senior Lecturer UCC, Consultant Obstetrician CUMH and PI INFANT Research Centre UCC
  • Dr Sophie Boyd, SpR, CUMH
  • Dr Barbara Burke, SHO CUMH
  • Ms Rióna Cotter, Programme Manager for the Implementation of the National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death, ADON, CUMH
  • Ms Tamara Escanuela Sanchez, PhD Student INFANT Research Centre UCC
  • Dr Rebecca Dennehy, Post Doctoral Researcher, INFANT Research Centre UCC
  • Ms Felicia Deonarine, Medical Student UCC
  • Ms Susan Dineen, Perinatal Scientist CUH
  • Ms Claire Everard, Quality and Risk Manager, Ireland South Women and Infants Directorate
  • Dr Brendan Fitzgerald, Consultant Perinatal Pathologist CUH
  • Dr Caragh Flannery, Post Doctoral Researcher, INFANT Research Centre UCC and RE:CURRENT Study UCC
  • Dr Amy Fogarty, SpR CUMH
  • Ms Arlene Gutman, Medical Student UCC
  • Dr Tommy Harty, ST, Perth, Australia
  • Dr Deirdre Hayes Ryan, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist CUMH
  • Dr Aenne Helps, SpR CUMH
  • Dr Marita Hennessy, Post Doctoral Researcher, INFANT Research Centre UCC
  • Ms Niamh Howard Jones, Bereavement Support Midwife CUMH
  • Ms Samantha Ingham, Medical Student UCC
  • Mr Peter Jackson, Medical Student UCC
  • Ms Orla Jennings, former Social Worker CUMH
  • Ms Caroline Joyce, PhD Student INFANT Research Centre and Dept Biochemistry UCC
  • Ms Kristin Marie Kelly, Medical Student UCC
  • Dr Sarah Kennedy, SHO, CUMH
  • Dr Sara Leitao, Post Doctorate Researcher, NPEC
  • Dr Laura Linehan, SpR CUMH and PhD Student INFANT Research Centre UCC
  • Dr Karen McNamara, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist CUMH
  • Dr Hadas Miremberg, Registrar, CUMH
  • Dr Aoife Morris, Post-CCT Aspire fellow CUMH
  • Dr Margaret Murphy, Lecturer (Midwifery), UCC 
  • Dr Caoimhe Ni hÉalaithe, ST, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, St Mary’s Hospital. London
  • Dr Daniel Nuzum, Healthcare Chaplain CUH/CUMH and Lecturer in Dept Obstetrics and Gynaecology UCC
  • Ms Orla O’Connell, Specialist Midwife in Bereavement and Loss CUMH
  • Ms Caroline O'Connor, PhD Student INFANT Research Centre UCC
  • Dr Emily O’Connor, PhD Student INFANT Research Centre UCC
  • Ms Caragh O’Regan, Medical Student UCC
  • Dr Stacey Power, Lecturer / Assistant Professor Children's and General Nursing, UCD School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems
  • Dr Emily Rutherford, SHO, CUMH
  • Ms Rachel Rice, Social Scientist UCC
  • Dr Indra San Campillo, Data Analyst NPEC
  • Ms Niamh Spillane, Midwife Manager CUMH
  • Ms Anna Maria Verling, Specialist Midwife in Bereavement and Loss CUMH (seconded), Project Manager NMBEs, HIQA

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

An Roinn Obstatraice agus Gínéiceolaíochta

Cork University Maternity Hospital, 5th Floor, Wilton, Cork, Ireland