I noted with concern today that there were several newspaper reports from the UK indicating that maternity hospitals in the UK had been inundated with calls from concerned mums following the episode about stillbirth on “eastenders’ . In the wake of this I bet that here will be obstetricians and midwives prepared to say to me ”I told you so ”
They may be surprised to learn that I would whole heartedly agree that talking to woman about stillbirth without also talking to them about how to reduce the risk is most likely to be anxiety provoking BUT …and it’s a big BUT :) what needs to happen is not to say “I wont tell them about stillbirth at all” but rather to say “if I am going to talk about stillbirth then I also need to talk to the pregnant mum about ways she can keep her baby safe.
If you just raise awareness of stillbirth without also talking about ways to reduce risk, of course you are going to provoke anxiety. The thought of losing your baby is absolutely terrifying and when it is portrayed on television to characters we have grown to love of course it is scary. So what needs to happen when these kinds of stories are planned is to tell the whole story, by all means raise awareness but do this ALONGSIDE information about how to reduce the risk, because only when the two things are done together will stillbirth be truly brought out of the shadows.