Antenatal and intrapartum care of pregnancy complicated by lethal fetal anomaly

The antepartum and intrapartum care of pregnancies complicated by lethal fetal anomaly is unique and requires an individualised management plan to meet the significant obstetric, medical, bereavement care and psychosocial needs involved.


Karen McNamara, Keelin O'Donoghue, Orla O'Connell

Journal Name
The Obstretrician & Gynaecologist
Journal Article
Fatal fetal anomaly
Full Citation

McNamara K, O'Donoghue K, O'Connell O, Greene RA. Antenatal and intrapartum care of pregnancy complicated by lethal fetal anomaly. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist. 2013;15:189-94.

Link to Publication


The diagnosis of a lethal fetal anomaly is a difficult time for both parents and clinicians. Options including termination of pregnancy and continuation of the pregnancy with palliative care of the infant should be discussed in a non-judgmental manner, and parents supported through the necessary decision-making process. A multidisciplinary approach with continuity of care is essential in helping these families understand and adjust to the diagnosis, and is also necessary to ensure quality of care through pregnancy, labour and delivery. The emotional and spiritual needs of the family are just as important as the physical management of these pregnancies. There is a paucity of published literature to guide clinicians in the management of these difficult and sometimes complex pregnancies. This review aims to provide a framework for the management of pregnancies complicated by lethal fetal abnormality.

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,