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National Standards for Bereavement Care Following Pregnancy Loss and Perinatal Death

Congratulations and well done to Anne Bergin and her hardworking team for completion of the National Standards for Bereavement care Following Pregnancy  Loss and Perinatal Death, launched by the Simon Harris Minister for Health today in Farmleigh.  Feileacain is delighted that appropriate care for bereaved families will be standardised throughout the country and parents can expect the same level of services regardless of where their baby is born.  Feileacain will continue to support parents in any way we can, as well as the professionals who are most often the first point of contact for parents facing the loss of their child.  We will continue  providing our Remembering…Memory Boxes, Cuddle Cots (both within the hospital and in the community), high spec cameras and memory cards, as well as developing our ‘Impressions so Precious’ project which offers parents a set of their baby’s hand and foot print in clay.  This service will be rolled out nationally over the next year.  Remember also that our Play Therapy, Counselling and Social Work services are available to bereaved families free of charge.  Again well done to all involved in the creation of the Standards and we look forward to their implementation.

The Full Report Can Be Downloaded Here

Global Study by the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA)

Research into Stillbirth Care and Prevention:  Please help!

We have been asked by our colleagues in the International Stillbirth Alliance to take part in a research project regarding stillbirth care and prevention in high income countries.  Research into why so many babies die in Ireland each year is key to the work of Feileacain and we would be very grateful if you would complete the attached survey to help us gain an understanding into stillbirth and the support of parents following bereavement.  There are three surveys: one for bereaved parents, one for family members and communities and one for professionals. Please read below.


Despite increasing attention and investment in strategies to improve maternal, newborn and child health, stillbirths remain invisible in many initiatives.

A global study addressing stillbirth care and prevention in high income countries is being conducted by the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) and Mater Research Institute – The University of Queensland and aims to determine what we need to do to reduce stillbirth and to improve care for families who experience this devastating event.

If you are parents who have had a stillborn baby or are community members who may or may not know a parent who has had a stillborn baby but would like your views heard on this important issue please consider completing the on-line survey. If you wish please forward this email to persons who may have an interest in completing this survey.

The results of the surveys will be presented in The Lancet, as part of a follow-on series on Stillbirths to be launched in late 2015 and a summary of the results will be disseminated among all International Stillbirth Alliance member organisations.

Survey of parents who have had a stillborn baby:


Survey of community members:


Lyceum Training & Counselling

Lyceum Training & Counselling at St Michaels Family Centre, Church Hill, Sligo. Tel: 087 6341748    Email:  gerryfarrell@eircom.net

Workshop Title: Counselling Clients with Fertility Issues

Venue: St Michaels Family Centre, Church Hill, Sligo

Date: Saturday  March 7th, 2015

Time: (Registration 9 30AM) 10am to 4PM

Facilitators: Kay Duff and Gerry Farrell

Cost: €60 (Tea and Coffee included at breaks)

Certification Certificates of Attendance and CPD hours given on the day

Booking: (Leave voice message) Kay  087 9763608 Gerry  087 6341748


Workshop Content

Experiencing Infertility vs. Being Infertile

Emotional Impact on Couples

Emotional Impact on Individuals

The Losses involved in Fertility Issues

Information needed to help Clients

Models of Counselling and Fertility Counselling

Processing of specific issues

Lead Facilitator            

Kay Duff BA Dip in Counselling (Trinity) Dip in couples counselling MIACP MIFCA

Kay Duff is the counsellor/psychotherapist  for the Merrion Fertility Clinic in Dublin.  She is one of Ireland’s most experienced fertility counsellors.  For over twenty years she has worked with couples and individuals experiencing fertility problems.  She offers specific supervision to psychotherapists and counsellors in the area of fertility counselling as well as establishing a general supervision practice.  She has a particular interest in the impact on individuals and who are building their family through assisted reproduction or other routes.  She offers support, preparation and information for those considering travelling abroad for egg donation.  Email: catherineduff76@gmail.com


Gerry Farrell is a psychotherapist in private practice.  He has lectured at Trinity College, Dublin, NUI Maynooth  and Sligo IT.  He has experience in psychiatry, residential child care as well as addictions. He has also got considerable experience in the Education sector.  He acts as host to Kay who has helped him through supervision to facilitate clients experiencing fertility issues and recommends this workshop as a valuable resource for counsellors who may encounter clients with Fertility issues.

Prevention of Umbilical Cord Deaths


Louisiana Doctor Commemorates 25th Anniversary Dedicating Career to Prevention of Umbilical Cord Deaths

Dr. Jason Collins copy
Dr. Jason Collins

by Chris Duffy, Star Legacy Foundation Board Member

NEW ROADS, LA – Dr. Jason Collins, the nation’s top expert on umbilical cord accidents (UCAs), is commemorating 25 years of dedicating his career to researching and preventing umbilical cord related stillbirths.

Dr. Collins, a retired obstetrician, began dedicating his career to UCAs in 1991, after a patient’s fetus had sudden changes in heart rate and decreased movement. He diagnosed a true knot, formed when the baby moves through a loop in the cord. Dr. Collins rushed the mother to the hospital for monitoring, and after the baby’s heart rate dropped significantly, successfully delivered the baby, which was experiencing major distress. This case was the first time in history that a true knot was detected in an ultrasound and later published in a medical journal.

Of the approximately 26,000 stillbirths each year in the United States, an estimated 8,000 are caused by umbilical cord accidents. Based on his research, Dr. Collins believes it is possible to reduce the number of UCA stillbirths by half through more diligent monitoring and an enhanced culture of education and open-mindedness in the medical community.

“Obstetricians throughout the nation have been taught that umbilical cord-related stillbirths are unpreventable flukes, which is simply not true,” said Dr. Collins. “In my 25 years of research and working with thousands of couples who have lost babies, I have concluded that there are signs that consistently point to umbilical cord problems.”

Dr. Collins’ book, Silent Risk: Issues about the Human Umbilical Cord (2nd edition) details the various indications of fetal distress that often point to umbilical cord complications:

  • Decreased movement: Babies who kick less than 10 times within two hours should be evaluated. Monitoring the baby’s movements during the day can reduce risk while the mother is sleeping, as the majority of UCA stillbirths happen between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.
  • Hiccups: Babies who hiccup several times a day often do so because the mother’s blood flow to the umbilical cord has been compressed.
  • Changes in heart rate patterns: Sudden fetal heart rate changes are often linked to umbilical cord entanglement.
  • Visual tracking: With today’s ultrasound technologies, umbilical cords can be traced from the placenta to the baby. Diligent ultrasound examinations can spot knots, loops, or other umbilical cord problems.

Dr. Collins notes one of the inherent issues is the fact that umbilical cord abnormalities are found in approximately 30 percent of successful pregnancies, so it is natural for doctors to view those that result in stillbirths as chance occurrences. His hope is that the medical community will recognize that UCA stillbirths are preventable, and that it will one day become standard procedure for physicians to (1) receive enhanced UCA instruction in school, and (2) educate mothers on how to detect umbilical cord issues.

“It’s difficult for one man to move mountains, but that’s what Dr. Collins has attempted to do each day for the last 25 years,” said Lindsey Wimmer, founder and executive director of the Star Legacy Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to stillbirth research and education. “On behalf of all parents who have lost babies to umbilical cord accidents, we are infinitely grateful to Dr. Collins for providing a voice for our children who can’t be with us today.”

About Dr. Jason Collins

Dr. Jason Collins, founder of The Pregnancy Institute and author of Silent Risk: Issues about the Human Umbilical Cord (2nd edition), is the nation’s preeminent expert on umbilical cord accidents. Based on his research, Dr. Collins believes simple cord compressions account for a large portion of stillbirths that many in the medical community accept as unpreventable. Dr. Collins has spent 25 years studying the role played by umbilical cords in stillbirths, and believes it is possible to cut the number of stillbirths in half through the expanded use of fetal heartbeat monitoring. Dr. Collins has demonstrated that real time fetal heartbeat monitoring can spot potential stillbirths before they progress to fetal demise. Dr. Collins’ book is available on Amazon. Follow Dr. Collins on Twitter at @jcollinsmd77.