1. A CALL FOR PARTNERSHIP
Each year in the United States nearly 26,000 babies are stillborn. Most of these babies are of viable gestational age, and for the majority, a cause is never known.
Stillbirth causes and prevention have not been studied until rather recently. Many, including some health care providers, have commonly assumed that stillbirth can’t be predicted or avoided. However, there are a number of things that can be done to reduce the risk and we are learning more each year. Awareness and education for both the pregnant mothers and health care providers is critical in both prevention and bereavement support.
Up until this time, many well-meaning, well- educated parent advocacy organizations have launched independent efforts to bring attention to the issues. They have designed educational brochures, visited physician offices, launched websites, helped to author legislation, demanded certificates recognizing the birth, and pleaded for research and attention from federal agencies that embrace maternal infant health issues. But this fragmented approach to stillbirth has been inefficient and often ineffective. We believe that it is time for change....
On the heels of the 2012 International Conference on Stillbirth, SIDS and Infant Survival, the publication of the Lancet series on Stillbirth, and the 2011 International Stillbirth Summit, parents and their families are adamant that attention be given to “the stillbirth epidemic”. The time has come for a multi-year National Campaign for Stillbirth Awareness and Education spearheaded by a coalition of organizations and individuals. Key goals of the campaign will be to:
1) widely disseminate currently recognized stillbirth risk reduction messaging targeting pregnant and potentially pregnant women with agreement on unified messaging.
2) stimulate additional research and opportunities to understand and prevent stillbirth.
3) educate and engage healthcare providers in the process in order to both increase their knowledge about stillbirth risk reduction and make them more sensitive to the issues facing parents.
4) advocate and educate policy makers regarding stillbirth when potential legislation or policies pertaining to stillbirth are being considered.
Will you join us as a partner in this Coalition? We are seeking individuals as well as groups and organizations to join in this effort. By completing the following survey and committing to join the coalition, you are honoring babies who never take their first breath and families who cannot adequately speak on their own. Together we can work to help decrease the numbers of babies who die during pregnancy. Please feel free to pass this invitation on to others you know who would consider joining in these efforts.
Questions? - firstname.lastname@example.org or call 952-715-7731
Thank you for your consideration and concern.
"Alone all we can do is grieve - together we can do so much more."
Shauna Libsack, Star Legacy Foundation
Marian Sokol, First Candle
Interim Co-Chairs of the Coalition