Friday, July 10, 2009

Even Doctors Avoid Talking About Stillbirth

By Alan Goldenbach
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
"...There are about 26,000 stillbirths annually in the United States -- one in about every 160 pregnancies, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is 10 times the number of deaths attributed to sudden infant death syndrome, which has been identified as a key public health issue, and four times the incidence rate of Down syndrome, for which prenatal testing has become almost ritual. Domestically, there are 2 1/2 times more stillbirths annually than deaths from AIDS...
"As a society, we're told just to deal," McGrath said. "There's this idea that you can just have another one, that they're disposable.

"We have a very limited ritual around death. In this country, it's 'Have funeral and get it over with and move on.' But when it's a baby, we don't even have a word for what to call it."

McGrath said she has heard countless times in her support group from parents who received no guidance from their doctors about stillbirth. One woman, she said, told a story about receiving a hand-written note from her veterinarian following the death of her dog.

"But when her baby died, the woman heard nothing from her doctor," McGrath said.
Lautenberg said. "We are crafting legislation to improve data collection so we can better understand what's causing stillbirths and help parents looking for answers."

The bill, which is more policy- and data-oriented than research-driven, will expand upon registries of stillbirths already in place in Iowa and metropolitan Atlanta. Lautenberg and the bill's other sponsors hope to have as many as a dozen states participating in the registry and providing a standard protocol for data collection following each stillbirth. Among the bill's other provisions is a campaign to increase public awareness and grief support services..."
*to read the full article pleaso go HERE

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