Why my baby died

Page 1

The death of a baby during pregnancy, at or soon after birth (perinatal death) is devastating for parents, families and staff involved. Involving bereaved parents in their baby’s care and in the maternity hospital reviews that take place after a baby’s death can help parents manage their bereavement and plan for the future. In Ireland, bereaved parents generally have not been involved in this review process.

In 2021, we interviewed 20 bereaved parents, about their experiences and views, to investigate how they could be involved in maternity hospital perinatal death reviews in ways that benefit them and the review process itself.

This graphic narrative tells their story, in their own words.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this graphic narrative, you can find details of information and supports at pregnancyandinfantloss.ie

We thank the parents who participated in this study, whose words form the basis of this graphic narrative.

Copyrighted illustrations by Amy Lauren

A collaboration between Professor Keelin O’ Donoghue, Marita Hennessy PhD, Dr Änne Helps, Dr Sara Leitao, Dr Daniel Nuzum, and Amy Lauren.

Development of this graphic narrative was funded through an Irish Hospice Foundation Seed Grant, supported by the Creative Ireland Programme, awarded to Professor Keelin O’ Donoghue.

The Pregnancy Loss Research Group leads national research to better understand pregnancy loss experiences and impacts, and the development of resources and evidence-based advice and interventions, to improve health care, and health and social outcomes for women, babies and their families.

Amy Lauren is an illustrator who works in coloured pencils, broad colour palettes and storytelling. She would love to tackle this subject matter again. Her studio faces the Dublin coast.

The Irish Hospice Foundation is a national charity that addresses dying, death and bereavement in Ireland.  hospicefoundation.ie

This graphic narrative is based on the research study “Bereaved parents’ involvement in maternity hospital perinatal death review processes: ‘Nobody even thought to ask us anything’” by Dr Änne Helps, Professor Keelin O’ Donoghue, Orla O’ Connell and Dr Sara Leitao*, Pregnancy Loss Research Group, University College Cork.

* Helps Ä, O’ Donoghue K, O’ Connell O, Leitao S. Bereaved parents involvement in maternity hospital perinatal death review processes: ‘Nobody even thought to ask us anything ’. Health Expectations. 2023;26(1):183–198, doi.org/10.1111/hex.13645.

ucc.ie/pregnancyloss PregnancyLossIE pregnancylossresearchgroup
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