Skip to main content


Exploring first-time mothers' experiences and knowledge about behavioural risk factors for stillbirth

Results suggest that there is a silence around stillbirth, including in antenatal care, which hinders information provision. Receiving information about stillbirth was perceived as positive to help prevention.


Tamara Escañuela Sánchez, Sarah Meaney, Keelin O'Donoghue

Journal Name
Health Expectations
Journal Article


Full Citation

Escañuela Sánchez T, Matvienko-Sikar K, Meaney S, O'Donoghue K. Exploring first-time mothers' experiences and knowledge about behavioural risk factors for stillbirth. Health Expectations. 2022;1-14.

Link to Publication


Some lifestyle factors like using substance use, not attending antenatal care, having an increased weight, and sleeping on your back, together with many other influences, have been considered to raise women’s odds of experiencing a negative outcome during pregnancy. We interviewed 18 women who have had uncomplicated pregnancies and healthy babies to explore their experience of behaviour change during pregnancy, and their experiences of receiving education and information about their health habits during antenatal care. For most women in this study, changing their behaviours when they became pregnant was not challenging as they all had favourable situations to do so. Most women had very limited knowledge about what stillbirth meant and there was never a connection between behavioural risk factors and potential negative consequences over the pregnancy. Our study suggest that stillbirth is not spoken about in antenatal care. However, most women felt that it would be useful to receive this information to make sure they remained as healthy as possible during their pregnancies. This study shows that providing more accurate and specific information to women about their health habits might contribute to improve their overall pregnancy health and reduce the chances of undesired outcomes.

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,