Third-trimester stillbirth affects approximately 2.6 million women worldwide each year. Although most stillbirths (98%) occur in low- and middle-income countries, most of the research on the impact of stillbirth and bereavement care has come from high-income countries. The impact of stillbirth ranges from stigma to disenfranchised grief, broken relationships, clinical depression, chronic pain, substance use, increased use of health services, employment difficulties, and debt. Appropriate bereavement care following a stillbirth is essential to minimise the negative socio-economic impact on parents and their families. This article presents the best practice points in stillbirth bereavement care, including taking an individualised and flexible approach. The latest published research, guidelines, and best practice points from high-income countries will be used and will highlight the gaps in the research which urgently need to be addressed. Research and investment in appropriate, respectful aftercare is needed to minimise the negative impact for parents.
- Bereavement care
- Best practice