#endstillbirths: Saving Babies’ Lives

My last #endstillbirths post was all about the good news going on to prevent avoidable deaths.

This week brings more good news but some people have decided to spike that delicious treat with pieces of glass.  Some for self interest, some for self promotion and some for a lack of self awareness.

Let’s start with the good before extracting the bad.

Saving Babies’ Lives Care Bundle

This week a package of information for heath care professionals and expectant parents is published.  It’s the result of years if work by healthcare professionals, research and charities (see Annex A for the full list) and sets out the importance and need for better maternal health, baby monitoring and getting help when the kicks aren’t coming as often or at all.

On the latter, the guidelines specifically tackle the pervasive and pernicious myths around reduced movements.

It’s one more treat alongside the recent pick ‘n’ mix of announcements around improving patient safety, better data and better use of data collection, investigation and the Sign up for Safety pledge building on the good work of hospitals and health care professionals in preventing avoidable deaths.

All of this good solid collaborative work is forgotten as the media shifts its frantic gaze on this week’s announcement, viewing it in isolation and making no connections or spotting what more needs to be done.

Self-promotion

The guiltiest party of all in this is The Sunday Times which off the back of its token, wasted effort of a petition seeks to claim these achievements as its own.

STIMES

What rankles further is the quote from Simon Stevens:

“As The Sunday Times has rightly argued, we could cut the chances of this happening if all pregnant mums were encouraged to quit smoking, if proper monitoring takes place during pregnancy, and if maternity providers listen carefully when pregnant women report worries about their baby’s movements.”

This may be ‘small p’ politics but it wasn’t the Sunday Times that argued this but the research from MBRRACE and The Lancet series and recall to action.  It did not come to these conclusions on its own.

It can’t claim victory for the other demands on its list either as they were already being addressed by the Government in November 2015.

In claiming victory for itself it dismisses all of the work that went on to make the care bundle happen.  A simple search online is enough to show that organisations like Sands and Tommy’s have been working on this since November 2014.

Lack of self-awareness

I don’t like open letters and I rarely get involved in the snake pit of online newspaper comment sections but I saw comments on the Sky News article New Advice Aims To Halve Stillbirth Rates that enraged me so much I woke up angry about them even when I promised myself I wouldn’t.

So hats off to MSquirrel and Candy Stripes for their thoughtful comments to add to the good news about what you would think is the largely uncontroversial topic of preventing the avoidable deaths of babies.

MSquirrel gets the runner-up prize for ‘whataboutery

Msquirrel

Providing information to people is not ‘Nanny State’.  It helps them make informed choices and lets them know about the risks and what to do if things aren’t quite right.  The research highlights the value of this for both parents and health care professionals.

rationale

It’s on page 21.

And here in big friendly letters.

info

First prize goes to Candy Stripes:

candy

Candy Stripes scored points for insensitivity, tone deaf commentary and use of a pointless and misspelled Soylent Green reference (with special mention to putting ‘Google it‘ next to a typo) with an argument about overpopulation on an article about dead babies with the hopefully unintentional consequence of looking like they are in favour of dead babies if it means tackling global issues and avoiding a people eating dystopia.

Did they really think that this was the best home for this type of comment?  Did they think that we should take comfort that our dead children won’t be sucking up the precious resources that allow people like Candy Stripe access to food, water, healthcare and the technology that allows them to make their crass arguments?  Did they miss the part of the article that emphasised this was about preventing avoidable deaths?

And…breathe

We get so few pieces of good news and we should be reassured that as an issue preventable deaths are being taken seriously with political will, co-ordinated efforts to address culture and practice and recording and making use of data and investigations to take on the whole problem.

I rant about the glory hunters, misguided and misinformed to pluck the glass from the rare treat of good news so we can shift our focus on the good work done rather than those that seek to spoil it through malice or thoughlessness.

 

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. A great post – every pregnant woman needs to be aware of stillbirth. I had 3 miscarriages before finally getting my beautiful baby girl who is now 6 weeks old. I was very scared throughout my whole pregnancy wondering if something ws going to go wrong. Even more so near the end as she was 14 days late by emergency c -section. Non movement was always on my mind those last few weeks as she was growing bigger with very little space left.

    #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ljdove23 says:

    I personally found that the advice about movement has changed massively. When I was pregnant with my first two I was repeatedly told that movements slow down towards the end and it was nothing to be concerned about. When Joseph began to slow down I was reassured that it was normal, he had less room to grow, that there was no reason to worry, and a few days later he had died. Nobody was willing to accept the blame, nobody held their hands up and said, “We were wrong”, it was just a case of, “These things happen”. With my youngest three I found that the midwives repeatedly told me to be aware of movement, there were more campaigns, “Count the kicks” being the main one, making pregnant women aware of this, and infact two of my youngest were induced early due to reduced movement.
    Great post, informative and important, as always. #anythinggoes

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Brilliant, informative and I am stealing the term ‘whataboutery’ Thank you. #Abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mrs Tubbs says:

    I had a break through bleed whilst at work and was told by my doctor that I may as well stay where I was as if it was a miscarriage, there was nothing anyone could do about it. I ignored them and went home as I felt this wouldn’t be fair on anyone! Hopefully things have moved on a bit since then!

    I never ceased to be amazed at the stuff that people think it’s okay to say on the Internet because it isn’t really a real conversation so it doesn’t count.

    Well done on helping getting better advice for new parents. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. mackenzieglanville says:

    A passionate post and it needs to be, people need to listen! I was obsessed with baby movements during my pregnancies and I must say I was blessed with my OBGYN she was amazing through my miscarriages and through my births. At 36 weeks with my last pregnancy she became very concerned. I was in hospital and went home, the next morning she called me and said she couldn’t sleep all night thinking of me and had rang colleagues about me, she wanted me in for another ultrasound right then. After the ultrasound she took me straight to the hospital and I had my first and only c-section. My son was early, but both he and I were alive!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And breathe….so many excellent points I don’t know where to start.

    The Sunday Times issue really frustrates me because, as you’ve mentioned, the research comes from MBRRACE and The Lancet series. As a professional newspaper, they should not be taking credit for this, and in your other post, it seems they have very vague guidelines on how to reduce avoidable deaths.

    Now, Candy Stripes takes the cake! Who are these people? I don’t understand how ignorant and inconsiderate they can be. Is it the lack of immediate feedback as they are commenting online where they can hide anonymously in their own little evil dungeon of idiocy?

    I congratulate you on writing a post about a difficult subject that needs to be heard. Thanks so much for linking up with #StayClassy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thanks for hosting! What amuses me about the Candy post is that they are probably feeling proud that they alone are telling harsh TRUTHS that need to be said not realising it comes across as insightful as “wake up sheeple!”.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ShanBaylis says:

    It is extremely scary to notice decrease movement. I had a moment in my pregnancy when my baby was not moving but that was due to her laying a certain way. The placentas was also in the front so I was scared but going to the hospital helped make sure that she was OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      I’m glad you were able to get that reassurance. It should be standard and the guidelines will hopefully make that happen.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ShanBaylis says:

        Yeah it is nice to hear your baby move and kick on the monitors. They had me count kicks and I did but it is still scary. They made me feel stupid for trusting my gut but I told myself I’m mama and I know what’s best. I will never let someone make me feel bad for being a mom again. No mom should be made to feel like that.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I completely understand your frustration on this, it’s infuriating and people use comments in an extremely valuable topic to completely push their own, irrelevant agenda.

    We are trying for a baby this year and I’ll be reading this info with interest as I think guidelines re counting movements were quite different even 3 years ago when I had my son.

    Thanks for sharing x #bloggerclubuk

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      It seems nuts that this should have to be part of guidelines but I’m glad it is! The reviews have shown that what should be standard isn’t and myths still rule some maternity wards.

      As for our stripy friend…I have no idea what would make someone do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. twotinyhands says:

    Hi, this is a very informative blog post! I had a pretty normal pregnancy and birth with no complications. There were moments when I couldn’t feel him and id worry but thankfully it was just that a moment of a chilled out baby! #effitfriday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      I’m glad that you had an uncomplicated pregnancy! It can be a scary time. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. susankmann says:

    I’ve had experience of this with a friend of mine. This is a very informative post with a lot of useful information. Big hugs xx Thanks for linking up #abitofeverything

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks so much for sharing this post. I feel extremely lucky to have had three healthy pregnancies but I have had many friends who have suffered miscarriages and child loss. Thanks for linking to #FabFridayPost

    Liked by 1 person

  12. helen gandy says:

    A very hard thing to comprehend, well done for bringing it to the attention of everyone. Thanks for linking up #besandworst

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am sure your post is helping to raise awareness, I suffered with several miscarriages before falling pregnant with our second, I am in those last few weeks and often have moments of doubt around movements because of our initial problems. Although I appreciate a lot of its in my head – If I take some time out and lay down bubba responds straight away. I guess its learning to trust your instincts, I never had this fear first time round! Thank you for a powerful and thought provoking post hope to see you again next week at #BloggerClubUK x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      I’m sorry.

      I hope all goes well and absolutely trust your instincts!

      Like

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