Care in subsequent pregnancies following stillbirth: an international survey of parents

More support for providing quality care in pregnancies after stillbirth is needed.


Margaret Murphy

Journal Name
British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (BJOG)
Journal Article
Pregnancy after loss, Stillbirth

Pregnancy after stillbirth

Full Citation

Wojcieszek AM, Boyle FM, Belizán JM, Cassidy J, Cassidy P, Erwich J, Farrales L, Gross MM, Heazell A, Leisher SH, Mills T, Murphy M, Pettersson K, Ravaldi C, Ruidiaz J, Siassakos D, Silver RM, Storey C, Vannacci A, Middleton P, Ellwood D, Flenady V. Care in subsequent pregnancies following stillbirth: an international survey of parents. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2018;125(2):193-201.

Link to Publication


More than two million babies are stillborn every year. Most parents will conceive again soon after having a stillborn baby. These parents are more likely to have another stillborn baby in the next pregnancy than parents who have not had a stillborn baby before. The next pregnancy after stillbirth is often an extremely anxious time for parents, as they worry about whether their baby will survive. In this study we asked 2716 parents from 40 countries about the care they received during their first pregnancy after stillbirth. Parents completed on online survey that was available in six languages. Parents often had extra antenatal visits and extra ultrasound scans in the next pregnancy, but they rarely had extra emotional support. Also, many parents felt their care providers did not always listen to them and spend enough time with them, involve them in decisions, and take their concerns seriously. Parents were more likely to receive various forms of extra care in the next pregnancy if their baby had died later in pregnancy compared to earlier in pregnancy. This study can help to improve care through the development of best practice guidelines for pregnancies following stillbirth.

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,