Our story - The teardrop

PLRG Logo - icon of a parent cradling an infant set in a green dropletThe Pregnancy Loss Research Group was formally established at Cork University Maternity Hospital in 2012 by Professor Keelin O’Donoghue, bringing together a multidisciplinary team of doctors, midwives, nurses, administrative staff, social workers, chaplains, researchers and parent advocates with a common goal of improving services and supports for people who experience all types of pregnancy loss.

The Group’s logo encompasses a teardrop, which was initially designed as a communication tool within the pregnancy loss service at Cork University Maternity Hospital in 2009. Clinical staff wanted to improve communication, providing a clear yet discreet alert to all staff across their multi-disciplinary team, and to improve the quality of care provided to parents who experienced stillbirth.

Staff research led to the investigation, design and development of the teardrop alert sticker. This is displayed on all hospital records and in relevant hospital clinical areas, and has extended to being used in scenarios of second trimester pregnancy loss, as well as neonatal death. Use of the teardrop alert commences as soon as a late pregnancy loss is confirmed and/or as early as possible in a subsequent pregnancy, and then is consistently used on all records relating to the pregnancy.

The teardrop has shaped and influenced bereavement and loss clinical practice and care at Cork University Maternity Hospital, alerting the whole team to deliver sensitive and appropriate care for families bereaved by stillbirth. An educational workshop called TEARDROP (Teaching, Excellent, pArent, peRinatal, Deaths-related, inteRactions, tO, Professionals) has also been developed for health professionals involved in maternity and newborn care in managing perinatal death and pregnancy loss.

In April 2023, the TEARDROP pin was introduced and is given to all staff who have completed the TEARDROP training. Staff are encouraged to wear their TEARDROP pin as bereavement care champions and to highlight the importance of bereavement care and awareness in the maternity services.

The teardrop is a Trademark registered to the Pregnancy Loss Services at Cork University Maternity Hospital.


The TEARDROP Pin | Dr Daniel Nuzum

Pregnancy Loss Research Group

Pregnancy Loss Research Group, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University College Cork, Fifth Floor, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Wilton, Cork, T12 YE02, Ireland,