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To think a still birth awareness campaign should be more aware

(23 Posts)
Sophia1984 Thu 23-Jun-16 13:03:11

I'm 34 weeks pregnant and in the 'thoughts racing not able to sleep with worry' stage, so imagine my joy when I got an email telling me that:

'The UK has among the worst rates of mothers dying during childbirth in the developed world. Tragically we lose 15 babies each day'

I am fully aware of how tragically common stillbirth is and am already terrified of it.

I couldn't work out how the Best Beginnings charity (that is carrying out a survey before launching an awareness campaign) got my email address- have checked and it seems they are the org that runs the BabyBuddy app I was told to download by my midwife, so they know I am pregnant! Who in their marketing team thought that was an appropriate email to send out? Imagine if it had been received by someone who had just suffered a stillbirth?

Am really not impressed at all, but am also sleep-deprived and hormonal so this may be clouding my judgement.

timeandtide Thu 23-Jun-16 13:10:21

Yeah it's a bit shit but I wouldn't get too worked up about it.

My doctor's appointment card has a full advert for an undertaker/funeral director on the back.

You can only laugh and shrug it off.

Congratulations on your pregnancy. Please relax and enjoy it xx

CountessOfStrathearn Thu 23-Jun-16 13:17:09

It is an email that might prevent someone else having a stillbirth.

Myths like (even on the In The Club programme) that babies go 'quiet' before labour need to be rebuffed so that women know to seek medical advice with reduced movements etc.

1frenchfoodie Thu 23-Jun-16 13:17:56

I ferl bad that this made you more anxious but it makes sense for them to target pregnant women (or those TTC) as only those having babies could be at risk. If getting this info makes some people get checked for reduced movements etc rather that thinking they are bothering the midwives/hospital it may have a positive impact.

barbet Thu 23-Jun-16 13:18:23

Sorry to hear you're stressed out flowers

I can't comment too much on that particular campaign as I think it needs to be seen in context.

The thing is - it is tragic, and in the UK we do have high rates which haven't dropped unlike other countries. The experts think that one of the reasons is that in general, most people aren't that informed. It's a bit like miscarriages - a lot of us expected fairytale pregnancies right away and felt broken at not having them.

Reading about something or worrying about it won't make it happen to you, but it might make someone aware enough to stop it happening to them. Things like Count the Kicks are becoming more common and I'm glad for that.

But of course it must be scary for you right now, so all I can suggest is some deep breaths, try forcibly to make your body relax with baths and distracting yourself, and focus on informing yourself: counting kicks, watching out for bleeding or changes, and getting help as soon as possible if something changes.

Big hug from me flowers

PolaroidsFromTheBeyond Thu 23-Jun-16 13:20:55

Did the email just talk about the tragedy of stillbirth in general terms or did it go on to offer advice such as counting kicks and taking note of patterns of movement?

unimagmative13 Thu 23-Jun-16 13:22:22

I had a lecturer on SIDS just as I left the hospital after a stressful week after giving birth. I couldn't sleep for a week

Also I was pregnant the same time as the still birth story on eastenders so chose not to watch it. (I was same gestation)

Emmerdale had a premature baby storyline.

Then Stacey had post partum physcosis

It's unfortunate how these things come along at the wrong time especially with hormones too.

honkinghaddock Thu 23-Jun-16 13:28:15

"Imagine if it had been received by someone who had just suffered a stillbirth?"
I've had a stillbirth. That email couldn't have made it any worse.

sparechange Thu 23-Jun-16 13:33:00

I've had a stillbirth.
I was treated like a totally pariah and anomaly by a lot of people. For them to know it is a)common and b) not my fault would have done a lot of make my life easier immediately afterwards.
It wouldn't have upset me to receive the email.
The Boots/Bounty/Asda 'congrats on your baby' shit upset me tonnes though. So logically those are the emails that shouldn't be sent out.

Pinkheart5915 Thu 23-Jun-16 13:37:43

I had a stillbirth in my first pregancny, I recieved an email a long thoses lines shortly after, as you will imagine that wasn't really what I needed.

It is tragic and heartbreaking but stillbirth does happen.

Some emails are to in form about still birth, everybody should know still birth can happen in pregnancy and I actually think it's good some emails women are sent are reminding to count kicks and warning that babies do not go quiet before labour as some would have you believe that is not true so it's a good thing.

I understand pregancny is an emotional time, but reading about something doesn't make it happen. You need to try to relax.

wishfulthink Thu 23-Jun-16 13:40:53

It's a sad fact that I think pregnant women should be warned about - along with cmv

Both make me anxious but I think awareness beats anxiety

barbet Thu 23-Jun-16 13:48:12

Oh god, I've just realised my comment above made it look a bit like "experts blame mums for not being aware" and I wanted to apologise because that's bullshit. No one is "to blame" for these things.

I just meant that as a nation we tend to think that pregnancies are these positive, joyous experiences where a woman blooms. We tend to ignore the sadder or more difficult side to it all in this sort of taboo, "touch wood, ignore it" way, which sadly leaves some people unprepared, as well as those around them too.

Worryingly, half of all stillbirths are still unexplained - I think I read that there's a new study right where researchers are going over all case histories to try and find out why the UK has problems compared to other countries.

I suspect the best we can hope for is that we all become more educated about the possible symptoms (whether we're active on forums like MN or not), and better yet, that we get an NHS service which knows how to deal with them better. Whatever the causes, they need tackling. Someone who needs a scan on a Friday, for example, shouldn't have to wait until the week after. Mums who think something's wrong shouldn't be fobbed off. And everyone needs more support, care and understanding of their grief.

Hope you're feeling a bit better by now OP.

Huge flowers to those who've lost their little ones so early on.

dolkapots Thu 23-Jun-16 13:50:54

Very untimely but YABU. I had very little information in any of my pregnancies regarding possible "danger" signs in the last trimester. The count the kicks campaign can only be a positive thing IMHO.

Do you usually have anxiety OP?

Sparklesilverglitter Thu 23-Jun-16 13:54:16

It's sad but Stillbirth does happen and I do think women should have information on it and be told about counting kicks etc. Any email that raises awareness I think is a good idea.

I am currently pregnant with my first and I do worry because I have seen two friends lose there babies like it and it was so very sad. It can happen in any pregnancy so I'm glad I know things like counting kicks, that babies do not go quite before labour these are things these wonderful charities help get out there.

flowers for all on this thread that had stillbirths

OP do try and relax I know it's hard but it's all you can do

Sophia1984 Thu 23-Jun-16 15:18:28

There was no information about stillbirth prevention - I completely agree that that is essential and don't have a problem with reminders to monitor baby's movement etc. It's the fact it was a marketing email to get me to fill in a survey about pregnancy and win a prize draw... And I would have been a lot more willing to do that if I didn't feel like I was being scared into doing so.

I had an early miscarriage last year and have had an anxious pregnancy but have generally coped ok and have even managed to come off antidepressants cause I am fortunate to have had amazing midwife and perinatal mental health support. Am realising that bit everyone gets as good care or information, which I guess is why campaigns are needed.

But I am still prone to being triggered into anxiety/panic. Didn't help that I had already been worrying about still birth today.

So sorry to any of you who have experienced this loss- I can't even imagine x

splendide Thu 23-Jun-16 15:29:01

'The UK has among the worst rates of mothers dying during childbirth in the developed world.

Is this true? I thought the UK was quite good on this, better than the states anyway.

sparechange Thu 23-Jun-16 18:45:25

Yes it's true
It is thought that older maternal age and our national obesity rates contribute to some of it but it cannot be fully explained

Mimicat44 Thu 23-Jun-16 18:51:26

I got an email about halfway through my pregnancy that said 'foetus fact: if your baby was born now it would have about a 50% chance of survival!' In exactly that strange, chirpy tone. I had deliberately not looked up that information as had been worrying about giving birth prematurely so it did upset me. However, you can't avoid mention of these things and should something go wrong there will always be something around that will be upsetting, even if it's seeing healthy babies and happy parents at the hospital if you've had some bad news - it's unavoidable.

honeylulu Thu 23-Jun-16 19:09:46

I lost a baby in the second trimester and absolutely scoured my pregnancy books for information but there was barely anything. I felt so alone and imperfect. I felt angry that "what can go wrong" was edited out almost everywhere.
I'm sorry you're upset but maybe it's better that more balanced information is out there these days

Imaginosity Thu 23-Jun-16 19:19:21

I've had lots of miscarriages and am currently pregnant. My friend had a stillbirth. I wouldn't mind at all getting this email. I know my friend who had the stillbirth wouldn't mind at all as she's very in favour of being open about losses like these. An email like this would not make her feel sadder than she already is.

It's good to raise awareness - it might save a baby and save some parents the heartbreak. There are lots of difficult things in life - keeping quiet about them won't stop them happening.

VestalVirgin Thu 23-Jun-16 20:00:02

Yes it's true It is thought that older maternal age and our national obesity rates contribute to some of it but it cannot be fully explained

I don't believe that. Germany is about as bad, and I think Switzerland is better. It has something to do with the number of midwives and how much money is invested in maternal health.

I cannot find the page anymore, but I read a statistic according to which Russia has much better numbers.

The difference between 2 or 6 in 100 000 or what it is, is not as big as that between the developed world and developing countries, but one does wonder.

JackTheFrontLoader Thu 23-Jun-16 22:05:32

Re the rate here being higher than elsewhere, I have heard that a routine 3rd trimester scan would cut the rate. Here you are barely seen by a midwife in the last trimester if it's a (low risk, but still birth can still happen - not saying that to scare anyone but it's the truth) second or subsequent pregnancy, never mind scanned.

sparechange Thu 23-Jun-16 23:24:12

Vestal, Jack,

With all due respect, a lot of bodies have done numerous statistical and clinical analysis and haven't found any clear cause.

Some of it can be explained by the UK having a bigger cohort of older mother and a much bigger cohort of obese mothers. Although there are other counties (I think Norway is one) where they have bigger numbers of older mothers without having the stillbirth stats we have in the UK.

There is an element of the Unknown. Many organisations are looking into it and no one has a clear answer.
To say 'oh, it was because you didn't have enough scans/ vitamins/exercise' is offensive, ignorant and hurtful. Please don't go there.

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