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Findings of the National Maternity Bereavement Experience Survey

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Findings of the first National Maternity Bereavement Experience Survey have been released in Ireland by the  National Care Experience Programme, a partnership between the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health.  The survey asked women and their partners about the bereavement care that they received in an Irish maternity hospital or unit following a pregnancy loss or perinatal death. The aim of the survey was to learn from the experiences of bereaved parents in order to improve the standard and quality of maternity bereavement care in Ireland.

Women and their partners who experienced a second trimester miscarriage, a stillbirth or the early neonatal death of a baby in one of Ireland’s 19 maternity units or hospitals between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2021, were invited to participate in the National Maternity Bereavement Experience Survey. The willingness of participating parents to share their experiences of such a difficult and painful time, will help to improve maternity bereavement care in Ireland. In total, 655 women and 232 partners or support persons took part in the survey.

Participants shared their experiences of the care they received, from communication and information at the time of antenatal diagnosis, through to labour and birth, postnatal and bereavement care, neonatal care, investigations, discharge home, follow-up care and care in the community.

Four reports — a national report and three reports exploring the particular types of care experienced — were  published.

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