The two most common questions I hear from stillbirth families are:
1. Why did this happen?
2. How can I make sure this never happens again?
For the second question – I have found great comfort in doing whatever I can to support stillbirth research. From a large, public health perspective, that is one of the things I can do to help ensure future families do not have to endure this tragic journey. Selfishly, it also helps me to think that something good could come from sharing my own stillbirth experience.
I know many other families feel as I do. The proof has hit the medical literature this week as the first paper from the STARS Study. Click here to read the paper. Drs. Jane Warland, Louise O’Brien, Alex Heazell, and Ed Mitchell have written an article that describes the importance of listening to pregnant mothers as well as the need for more research in emerging areas of interest. We are so grateful for their hard work, expertise, and friendship! These four researchers really are among the best and most dedicated in the world!
The Study of Trends and Associated Risks for Stillbirth (STARS) Study began in 2012 as an outcome of the Stillbirth Summit 2011. The majority of the researchers in attendance worked together to create the online survey that over 1700 women then answered! It is a wonderful example of researchers, health professionals, and families working together to address the many questions surrounding stillbirth.
In addition to this cohort of women who had a stillbirth more than 3 weeks before they completed the survey, another controlled cohort completed the study within the first 3 weeks of their losses. We anticipate results from that portion of the work to be available soon as well.
Star Legacy Foundation would like to take this opportunity to thank the researchers who are so passionate and dedicated to this cause. We are fortunate to have brilliant minds focused on saving these babies. Most importantly, we want to say THANK YOU to all the women who shared their stories for this effort. It isn’t easy, but your courage is helping us learn more about stillbirth prevention and treatment.
For anyone who wasn’t able to participate in the STARS Study (or also for those who did!) – there are many other opportunities to contribute to research projects. Research studies that you might be eligible for are listed on our website under Research. Current options we know of include a sleep study, psychological aspects of stillbirth study, physical activity studies, and study of stillbirth mothers of color.
Plus – Star Legacy is continually working on more research efforts and will hopefully have some exciting announcements in the near future. Our hope is that everyone with the strength and courage to share their experience for stillbirth prevention has the opportunity to do so!
Thanks again for your support in these studies and in sharing the results!