The National Stillbirth Webinar Series replaced our annual forum in 2020, which was disrupted by COVID-19. The four-part webinar series (22 July – 12 August 2020) was a huge success with over 600 attendees joining us from all over Australia and Internationally.
2020 is a year we will never forget, with COVID-19 disrupting not only the plans for our forum to be held in Melbourne, but also the lives of so many pregnant women and their health care professionals. This webinar series had a strong emphasis on presenting learnings from the challenges presented by COVID-19 as well as updates on important current work by the Stillbirth CRE and our many partner organisations.
Thank you to Minister Hunt for launching the series and his ongoing support of our work and thank you to all those who chaired, presented and attended the webinars. A great experience that has given us food for thought in how we can reach an even greater audience online for future events and for sharing the outcomes of the important research done across the Stillbirth CRE family.
Webinar 1: Challenges and opportunities in delivering the Safer Baby Bundle during COVID-19
The Safer Baby Bundle (SBB) is the first national stillbirth prevention program, and since the concept was developed a lot of work has gone into developing the resources, and planning implementation through the three health jurisdictions who are part of the NHMRC partnership grant. Victoria launched in June 2019, and launch of the e-learning resource took place at Parliament House in October. NSW launched in early 2020, but unfortunately the COVID-19 crisis has delayed the launch in Queensland until later this year. Work with the other jurisdictions continued despite not being able to formally progress plans, and it is hoped that all health services will be involved in some way by the end of this year. There is a date set for a launch in WA in November of this year. This presentation will look at what has been achieved to date, the different ways in which the states and territories are approaching the roll-out of the SBB, and the lessons learnt from the Victorian experience since their launch.
Webinar 2: COVID-19 Taskforce: Rapid review of maternal health recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic
The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce is conducting continuous evidence surveillance to identify and rapidly synthesise emerging research in order to provide national, evidence-based guidelines for the clinical care of people with COVID-19, including pregnant women and newborns.
To support the Taskforce, Burnet Institute researchers conducted a rapid review of maternal and perinatal health recommendations from international and national guideline developers, identifying a number of care practices where conflicting guidance was present.
An overview of available maternal and perinatal health guidance, as well as the key recommendations emerging from the COVID-19 Taskforce pertaining to antenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care, will be presented.
Webinar 3: Bereavement care following a baby's death - recent experiences
Perinatal loss is a devastating experience for parents and navigating the path through grief is confusing and complex, though it is made easier by good bereavement care. Providing high quality bereavement support and care is challenging for health professionals in busy and high pressure maternity care settings. The experiences of both bereaved families and the health professionals providing them support have been impacted by COVID-19, sometimes in unexpected ways.
As part of the 2020 National Stillbirth series ‘A focus on Stillbirth Prevention and Care’, this webinar will consider feedback gathered from bereaved families and health professionals about the impact of COVID19 on bereavement care and highlight some of the adaptations that have been, or could, be made to optimise support for parents.
Webinar 4: Timing of birth: why is it important, what do women and their caregivers want to know, and how do we make it known?
Stillbirth is a tragedy regardless of the gestational age at which it occurs. Those stillbirths that occur in the few weeks leading or following the estimated date of birth often leave the mother, family and care givers wondering whether earlier planned birth was indicated and could have averted the baby’s death. As focus and awareness of stillbirth has risen so too has our understanding of the short term and longer term risks of being born even a few weeks early. A challenge of maternity care is to offer early planned birth in pregnancies at risk of stillbirth without causing unintended harms. This presentation will examine trends in late gestation stillbirth, what information parents and caregivers wish to know with respect to planned birth and the work that the CRE is undertaking to co-design materials so that decision making is optimised.