Welcome to the Maryland Chapter of the Star Legacy Foundation!
Established in 2018 and serving the entire state, the Maryland Chapter of the Star Legacy Foundation is a motivated group of parents, relatives, and friends of stillborn babies.
Our mission is to prevent the tragic loss of children to stillbirth by increasing awareness and addressing the stigma surrounding stillbirth, educating obstetric professionals and expectant families, and raising funds for research. We are also establishing a program to provide peer support to families grieving the loss of a baby.
If you are in our area and want to connect with other parents who have experienced the loss of a stillborn child, or want to work to prevent pregnancy loss and neonatal death, please contact us. We also welcome questions from expectant parents who want to learn what they can do to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Contact the Maryland Chapter
Why We Do What We Do
Facts about Stillbirth
- Stillbirth is the most understudied issue in medicine today.
- The stillbirth rate in the U.S. has not changed in the last 50 years.
- More than 26,000 babies are stillborn each year—71 per day.
- One in 160 pregnancies end in stillbirth.
- In Maryland in 2017, there were 550 fetal deaths, commonly known as stillbirths—loss of the baby in utero after 20 weeks gestation. This is a rate of 7.6 per 1,000 births, up slightly from 2016.
- There were 478 perinatal deaths—loss of the baby after 28 weeks of gestation through 7 days post-birth. This is a rate of 6.7 per 1,000 deliveries (down slightly from 2016).
- Finally, there were 462 infant deaths (loss of the baby in the first year of life), the majority from pregnancy-related complications. This is a rate of 6.5 per 1,000 live births (the same as in 2016).
- 50% of stillbirths occur at full term and the babies often seem to be otherwise healthy.
- 85% of stillbirths occur before delivery.
- Nearly 2/3 of all stillbirth deaths remain unexplained.
- Stillbirth deaths cut across all socio-economic classes, races, religions, and maternal age groups.
- More babies are stillborn annually than die from prematurity and SIDS combined.
- 77% of parents never worried their baby would die after the first trimester.
- The U.S. ranks 48th out of 49 developed nations in the world for annual rate of reduction of stillbirths.
- Perhaps the greatest obstacle to addressing stillbirths is stigma.
Source: Star Legacy Foundation
Chapter Plans and Projects
The Maryland chapter leadership team meets monthly to strategize our upcoming plans and goals. These include:
- Organizing a Champion Event to support chapter efforts and the national Star Legacy Foundation’s mission
- Holding a remembrance walk to honor and celebrate stillborn babies
- Conducting perinatal bereavement training for hospital staffs to help ensure that grieving families receive compassionate care
- Recruiting participants for the Pregnancy Research Project, in which patients may contribute information about their pregnancies to a living database for pregnancy researchers
- Sharing updated information about fetal movement monitoring with obstetric professionals and expectant families
- Establishing a peer support program for trained peer companions to provide one-on-one guidance to grieving families who have experienced pregnancy loss
Join Our Team!
With a brand-new chapter (established February 2018), we are currently looking to expand our presence by recruiting volunteers from around the state of Maryland. Interested in a specific project we’ve described? Please contact us at email@example.com and let us know your interests and how you would like to be involved. We look forward to meeting you!
- Molly Bacon, Chair, mom of Aoife, stillborn Oct. 30, 2013, at 34 weeks
- Angela Moxley, Vice Chair, mom of Luke, stillborn Aug. 21, 2015, at 37 weeks
- Dena Aufseeser, Secretary, mom of Sidney, stillborn May 5, 2016, at 37 weeks
- Beth May, Family Support Shair, mom of Luke, stillborn Aug. 18, 2017, at 39 weeks
If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a child, you can call 952-715-7731, ext. 1. Certified grief counselors are available 24/7 to take your call.
Star Legacy Foundation provides live, online support groups for families who have experienced a perinatal loss and for individuals experiencing a pregnancy after a loss. Groups are held via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing and facilitated by trained health professionals. Registration is required only for the first time you attend. After that you will receive a reminder before each session that will include login information specific to each session. More information here.
- Bereaved Parents of Perinatal Loss– 1st & 3rd Mondays of each month at 6:30 pm central. Group facilitator is Debbie Fischer, LAMFT
- Pregnancy After a Loss– Every Monday at 7:30 pm central. Group facilitator is Joann O’Leary, PhD
- Parenting After a Loss– Every Wednesday at 10:00 am central. Group facilitator is Joann O’Leary, PhD
- Grandparents & Extended Family– 1st Wednesday of each month 6:30 pm central. Group facilitator is Joann O’Leary, PhD