The Albanese Labor Government has awarded more than $5.1 million in grants to organisations to support high quality bereavement care to women and families following stillbirth or miscarriage.
Each day in Australia, six babies are born stillborn and two die before they are 28 days old, equating to around 3,000 perinatal deaths per year. Up to one in five confirmed pregnancies end in miscarriage before 20 weeks.
Bereavement care will be targeted to women and families from higher-risk population groups who have experienced stillbirth or miscarriage, and the health professionals assisting them.
While any pregnancy can result in stillbirth or miscarriage, rates remain higher among specific groups, including First Nations people, culturally and linguistically diverse families, refugee and migrant communities, women and families living in rural and remote areas, and women under 20 years old.
The funding comprises:
- $3.2 million to Red Nose Australia to implement its Healing Through Community project, providing direct bereavement counselling, training for health professionals working with bereaved families, community peer support and culturally safe resources for each target group.
- $980,000 to the Centre for Research Excellence in Stillbirth to enhance and expand the IMPROVE education program for healthcare professionals working with women and families who experience stillbirth and miscarriage, and inclusion of new components on cultural safety for First Nations, South Asian and African-born families.
- $850,000 to Rural Health Connect to deliver telehealth psychology sessions to women and families in rural and remote areas who have experienced stillbirth and miscarriage. An online training module on best-practice, culturally safe bereavement care will also be developed for psychologists.
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care
Ged Kearney MP
“Stillbirth can have a devastating impact on women and their families, resulting in ongoing grief, anxiety and depression as well as social and financial losses.
“Our Government is committed to reducing the tragedy of stillbirths on our nation, and particularly to support those in our community who experience stillbirth and miscarriage at a disproportionately high rate to receive timely and appropriate care.”
Quotes attributable to Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health Senator Malarndirri McCarthy
“Thousands of Australian families suffer in silence with stillbirth every year and it is so important this critical support is provided in what is often some of the most challenging moments of their lives.
“The support provided by our Government will go a long way in helping families through the grief of stillbirth including those disproportionately affected in rural and remote, Indigenous, and culturally diverse communities.”