Hello, we're back here on the couch. And today I have the amazing Claire, who's the CEO and founder is still away. Thanks for coming. You're very welcome. Thanks for having me. So this is one of those topics that's really important that we talked about, and certainly want to hear the players start to talk, you will realize how important it is, and probably something that doesn't always come up as much in conversation or as much as it really should.
And so, maybe you can go through how you first found the amazings to the we're sure Well, I suppose it's important to understand what's Delaware is all about. So we're a organization that is about to broker mentioned, we're an awareness organization. So we operate purely for that the crucial time in pregnancy, which is all of us from the beginning. right through to the And so the nine month is where we fit in, in terms of raising awareness of stillbirth to help prevent it from happening to to moms and families. We work very closely with researchers and very closely with support organizations, but our main remit is actually to raise awareness of stillbirth and provide education to the to therefore bring action and hopefully create change. And still with started as a result of the personal at me being personally affected by myself.
We only exist because no one else was in the space. And that baffles me like to know in that I don't understand why no one has done this prior. Because stupors is the leading cause of childhood death, Australia and has been sold for more than 20 years. So we really have to do something about it. It's the time has come Where it's no longer going to be a solid subject. And I understand that the word itself seems comfortable.
Stillbirth is something that maybe people have heard on. But a majority of people may think, oh, it speaks it was something that was medieval, you know, it happened in, you know, King Henry the Eighth. Yeah, that's a but unfortunately it happens every day in Australia six times a day. So, and when we're talking stillbirth, that's the death of a baby in utero and prior to birth, and that's anytime from 20 weeks gestation right through the term and post term. So what we're about is actually preventing those that can be committed and that is predominantly the trimester stupid. You have a trust in doctors that say away Cochran it's gonna be okay.
It's that moment that you realized that you might be going home with your child, you know, as you should you know, every parent that that has a has a child should be, should be leaving the hospital with you know, with that child in their arms. And one of the most crucial conversations that we must be happening having is about stupid and stupid prevention. And so that's what's Delaware is all about talking about stillbirth in the antenatal period and things that we can do to prevent it being more aware. So yes, Is that why you called it still aware? Yes. Yeah, not so much to bed support group.
Absolutely. Because it is about being aware. But it's also not just being aware of Stupid. Yes, so stillbirth awareness would be fine, but it's not just about subra it's about being still and being aware of your baby. It's about being still and being aware of your pregnancy. It's about being still and being aware of how you feel in your pregnancy and your own intuition.
So about looking beyond so that we can hopefully prevent that was Come on stupid. But the midwife's really just added on top still where it already that the inflation rate went from still away. And then just it was all about for my instincts, not feeling silly. If I thought all things aren't right. It's really up to listen to you, baby and know everything's arrived down there and you're going to get checked on this. Do you think something's not right?
I went into my midwife appointment for 39 weeks. And I said, Oh, if it's not out in this due date will induce you. I will since moving a lot less which was worrying. I shared my concerns with a midwife and settle I'm not really sure I want to wait till Monday. Is there any interest moving left, I'm not sure if everything's okay down there. She said, Okay, well, we'll get you up to upstairs and put you on the CPG see what's happening.
So I went upstairs and I monitored him for a while, his heartbeat and everything was fine. But the doctor came in with a mobile ultrasound took a look unsettle, there's not much amniotic fluid, there was a lot of baby, which surprised me because when the midwives have done their measurements, there was always a small baby. But here there was a big child in there and not much fluid left, sort of explain why he wasn't moving that much. And sort of said, just you know, we've got a lot to do you want to wait till Monday because it's really best to get them out as soon as possible. If you wait till Monday, might not. You've got a lot to lose by wait till Monday because you might, you might lose them.
So settle, yeah, get him out as soon as possible. And then yeah, was induced, and I was really grateful for that. And, yeah, the worries were over as soon as it was out and I've met him. Yeah, it was just such a relief, really, because I can't even imagine what whole families go through the have to have a I was thought was bad that families are to leave the baby or neonatal care for I have no idea how many families actually go home without the child at all. So I kind of imagined what those families go through. So turn them on my arms and healthy was just kind of described really.
It's just, it's perfect. Yeah. Phil the midwife's were really good that I saw and I took my concerns seriously. And when I went to my childcare education classes towards the end of the pregnancy, they did they actually spoke about still aware which is really good and said, Please follow your instincts. Don't feel stupid by coming in or calling you think something's not right. So you did really good at the hospitals really pleased with the care and support I got there.
And predicting what would have happened if I'd have waited till Monday if I had if I understood the midwife appointment or he is moving a bit less, because I wouldn't have had a clue about any of that. It wasn't still aware. I just thought you were pregnant. That was it. And especially after had a miscarriage at 12 weeks, a year before I was born, so it was really just great to finally have baby my arms and follow my instincts and make sure it was okay. philidor an amazing organization I've got nothing but the utmost respect for them and what they do continually saving families saving the heartbreak and the grief saving lives.
It's just amazing and keep up the good work it still with the silence is just heartbreaking. absolutely heartbreaking. I wished I knew that stillbirth was even a thing. I'd never heard of it. I never knew that it could happen it could quite possibly have saved his life. If I'd had an idea that to birth was something that movements were something to be concerned about.
If there was any changes. Just listen to your body. Listen to yourself. Don't ever feel that you're wasting anybody's time. By taking yourself into the hospital if you've got any concerns about anything, and you are your baby's best advocate us his his or her mother or the only person that can help them and keep them alive when they're a new story. And if you've got any concerns or any reason to believe that there is a problem, or there's something wrong, you need to speak up and say something.
Don't ever feel like you're wasting anybody's time. Because it could just save your baby's life. So if there's any change in strength, was that a change in pattern or there's any change in frequency from what's normal for your baby? That's a reason to go in and get checked, and not to delay getting checked. Don't wait until tomorrow. Even if you've got an appointment The next day, I'm sure you can vouch for that yes, as well.
So it's crucial that we act now. And then the second or fourth thing that we can do to keep the baby safe is to settle to sleep on our side in pregnancy doesn't actually matter what side and it's easy to explain why this works is we have a vein, everyone actually has this fine recording everybody has an inferior paper that runs down our spine really. And now when we lay on our back, no, we can imagine the vein is is fairly nice and open and round. But this vein is quite soft. And when we're allowing our back, it squashes, and we can restrict the oxygen flow to ourselves into a baby's placenta and when pregnant. And so by sleeping on your side, you're actually leaving that open.
So it's important that we settle to sleep on our side in the third trimester. And, again, doesn't matter what side it also is really important to know that it doesn't matter if you wake up on your back. So if you find that you've moved around, and you sleep, and if woken up on your back, it's not reason to panic, but rather to settle again back to sleep on your side, so that you'll sleep sleeping safely for you and your baby. And then the fifth thing, and probably the most important thing of all of us is actually trusting yourself and trusting your baby. So instincts really do matter. So if you feel like something's not right, maybe it isn't trust your Speak to your midwife or condition and say I need to come in and get checked, they will always want to, you are your baby's best advocate.
So it's really important that you let a baby speak through you in pregnancy to keep your baby safe. So those five things can help be protective in pregnancy and help prevent a stillbirth from happening to you. Absolutely. And I guess from that medical perspective, so if you thought, the baby's moving, so if they said if a clinician said sorry, is your baby moving? And you said yes. But maybe the strength is different.
And that's the part of the fantastic education that educate clinicians. Also, it's got really easy to use information for a month. And so know the the strength is different, but there is still some movement, you'd come into a hospital, and I'd go, thanks for coming in. 24 seven, we're always there. And so we would listen to your baby for maybe 20 minutes, and from our perspective, the pattern of heart rate is important. So guess this, if you think about it, like, if you're feeling really unwell and you haven't got much energy, you know, getting to the fridge to get a glass of water is a lot of rest after that.
And so if you buy these moving, but it's moving quite quickly, then it hasn't got that strength to really active movement. And often we'll see a heart rate that seems quite unchanged. But if you are feeling really good, and you're like, walk up the stairs, heart rate comes up, and then it comes back down again. And so that's the pattern of change. We're looking forward to say, look, we can think your body's getting lots of oxygen. It's got lots of energy, and maybe you know, feel your baby and say this is where it's sitting.
And maybe it's different to what it has been doing and why it feels different. But that should make sense to you. And it's worth having a check. It's not a problem. We're more than happy to do that as many times as needed. And I think if you feel that maybe the clinician isn't giving you as much as I guess respect for the feeling that you've had then you know, as the advocating for yourself and your baby, you can say, I don't feel like things arrived, which is enough reason for us to certainly want to come and check you over and just give you that information so that you can make sense of why it feels different.
Because babies do move in your tummy, they can move to completely different position. And that makes everything feel different. But you should know that because that's a part of our training. And also, I think it's really important that you know, as mom and clinician and baby we're working together. So that's a perfect example of that that mom goes in and she's is concerned, you've got a good snapshot of how things are going. I watched accelerations and decelerations and kept a good eye on if there's any contractions happening, all sorts of things through the CTG and we kind of 20 minutes snapshot of how things are going.
So generally speaking, you know, an active babies a healthy baby, and we'll say okay, well, it seemed like everything is okay. We're comfortable. We're going to give you the open However, there's one question that a midwife or clinician needs to ask you and that is, how do you feel? Do you feel like everything has returned to normal? And if you feel Yep, I feel reassured I feel fine. Everything in me feels good.
Go everything's good. And the other thing that we encourage people to say is if there's any concern, don't delay even if it's the same guy that you've previously presented. Come in and get checked. because like you said, 24 seven not wasting time. Your your baby's best advocate your your pillow talking for them. Yeah.
And, and it's the same way in in parenting, really. So this is we're talking about active parenting. Now, in pregnancy, you can do this I know that seems sort of you go well, how you know, I can't see my baby. Well, actually, you're getting to know your baby's personality beautifully. You know, what their likes and dislikes are somewhat and you can get to know what their movement patterns are like and strength and frequency. So something doesn't feel normal to you.
It probably isn't normal for them. So it's really important. That we speak up and going through our babies. Yes. It's just like if you had a toddler, you know, your toddler was at home, and suddenly was really inactive and was sitting on the couch and being really unresponsive. And that sometimes happens with the movements, which it shouldn't.
And if the title was being unresponsive, would we throw a drink on if you have a cold drink or something, sweetie, maybe he might respond to it. But that man is actually Well, there's a lot of old meat as well. We must dispelled cold water. Comics directly. very loudly, exactly. So our bosses, if you're concerned about your baby's movements, don't try and wake them up.
Because you're concerned Don't delay. So sure if you want to have a cold drink when you sit down and have your daily bonding session with your baby new tighly plan your baby fine, but don't go and have a Orange juice, or a cup of ice, or a cold a cold drink to try and actively get your baby moving, because like he said, Does is is I still asked by the time of year to barely know. So it doesn't actually make sense. And in the same way, we must know as well that a baby doesn't slow down. It's like saying, Okay, well, you're, you're sitting in a bath for the whole day today, because you're in your third trimester and you're like this and you really want to kick and punch, you're still gonna kick him punch, but you physically may not be able to swing your arm out.
So you're actually moving your whole elbow your whole body. So, in actual fact, as the pregnancy progresses, and the baby gets bigger, the movement should be stronger, and the activity should remain the same. The regularity should remain the same thing the feeling should be stronger. The only thing that will differ is the type of movement in the back of my mind, so alien Pregnancy, you know, it might be like a little tickle or a flatter. And that's something that only mom can feel. And in mid mid pregnancy, no closer to the third trimester, but in the second trimester, and you start to feel those, the punches and the kicks and these are movements that dad can feel to and partner can feel as well.
So that's how they can actively get involved in getting to know their baby. But then in the third trimester is the same you, you actually may even see your baby physically moving in your belly. And the patent strength and frequency should be something that is regular for your baby. So what we do know is that if a baby is unwell, that it may move list, that means not a strong, not as often. And then there's also the other other side of it that if it's some unusual for your baby, so if there is if you feel anything that scares you that frantic movement, sudden increase in erratic movement, that you know, it's almost like your baby wanting to jump pout, that's reason to also call because it's different for what's normal for your baby. So it's really important that we actively get to know who our babies so that together as mom, baby and clinician, we can know how the baby's going.
Absolutely. And, you know, I can say there's lots of information supporting parent parents that unfortunately have had this happen in their lives. And so is there support for people that may be your best friend did lose a baby, and then you're thinking, How do I do this? How do I do this? And I think it's really interesting because there's never there's never someone you don't want to hear from. The worst thing you can do is say nothing.
It's already an incredibly silencing subject as it is. A birthing suite should never be silent. That's what your friend is just had to go through and delivering their baby that an utter agonizing silence It's never more apparent that, you know, there's so much love in that room, you still have just given birth to, you know, a beautiful, beautiful baby. But you're simultaneously having to welcome that baby into the world and then also say goodbye. It's very uncomfortable. Because not only are you given a form to sign that says, sign here to say that your baby was born.
Yeah, then you're also given a form, say, sign here to say that your baby has died. And it all clashes together at once. Yes. So nobody truly knows what to do and what to say me scenarios, even the people going through it. But what you can do is just be there and be present. And always remember that these children and children say the name, say the baby's name.
And it's different to congratulate them. It's not going to be able to go out and say, you know, yay, congratulations. But allow them to share that baby with us. They want to show you photos, look at them. These photos are actually quite beautiful. They're just in photos, babies, babies and perfect and beautiful, gorgeous and these families have every every right to want to celebrate their child's life.
And that's what we're about is providing a place a space of celebration rather than commemoration. Because I think that with death, there is so much sadness. But because there was death, there was also life. So we must always acknowledge that there was a life there. So what can the friend do and Miss which will just be there. And so if you decide that you had a gift that you wanted to give them and that was already there for their beautiful daughter or son, make a choice, but you might actually still want to give it to them and say, Look, this is belong to your child.
I bought it for them. I want you to have it. It's up to you what you do with it. But then also, it's really important that you if you do if you do that you deal with sensitivity. But you know, write cards, write letters, send a text, pick up the phone, but also know if you don't get a response. The grieving process is long.
And everybody grieves differently. Some people will want to shut away for some time. And they will not be responsive to to your contact, but it doesn't mean they don't want to hear from you. So just remain present. And other people will think I'll just give them space, but they're actually just desperately needing comfort and they desperately need to get out in into a busy space so that they don't feel so isolated. Everybody's different.
And everybody does grieve differently. But it's it's incredibly uncomfortable because you're celebrating life and death at once. So there is no right or wrong way to do this. But some of the best things that have been said, are often nothing. Or just something if that makes sense. It's really funny.
A friend of mine who I hadn't, she was just present. I hadn't seen her for 10 years. In fact, I didn't even know she knew I was pregnant. But I got this card. And it was the perfect thing that somebody could have sent me. And it was a few words.
And it just said, in my limited experience with grief, I know it's better to say something rather than nothing. So this is just me saying something. And it was perfect. Yes. The whole didn't try and validate what had happened. Ever, like next time, and people say some awful things, not meaning to I don't think anything's done with, you know, any form of malice.
It's just purely that they're just trying that sometimes people can say things like, well, at least you know, you can have a baby, just have another one. And that's a common thing we hear or hear like that, the better luck next time or it's God's Will or you know, just awful things that You're just trying to get it. But sometimes it's better to say, I don't know what to say, yeah. And I'm struggling with knowing what to say. But I just want you to know I'm here. And I'm here for you.
And I'm here whenever. But don't expect them to reach out to me keep reaching out to them. So being present, and try your hardest not to disconnect. Because I know that sometimes it can be it seems easier to run away from somebody who's grieving who's lost a child, that might be too hard for you as a friend. But that friend really needs you. If you're a true friend has to go through the good and the band.
Absolutely. Which is how do you Yeah, and you know, what is good and bad at once? Yes, as well. That's the really uncomfortable is good and bad. It's good and bad. You know, the baby's born that just had to say goodbye, but there's still a lot of love them and I want to talk to about Yeah, ask questions.
You know, do you know, I didn't did they have any similarities to you was did they have the same thing that you have or what about the Who did you think? ask the questions that you've the same way you work. And six months down the track, you know, remember these things and remember birthdays. It's important. Yes. So we Delaware amazing organization, which is largely run by volunteers.
Definitely Yes. And not for profit. So donations, volunteers, yes. make fantastic brochures that get distributed to clinicians and then clear all around Australia. Yeah, educating everybody. Yes, there'll be lots of people that will want to get involved and help out.
Yeah. And you do lots of fundraising, you need more help. We always a hands on deck and we certainly always need funds. And we do a lot with the little every dollar that is donated to us, by virtue of fabulous people that donate their time and services, and we actually make it five bowls. So every dollar that's given to us turns into $5. So you know the dollar spirit very far, you know, organization.
And what I will say about that is, we appreciate anything and everything. And it's also not always just about the money. It's also about the time and the energy that you might be able to, to share. But even if you can't physically give time or money, what you can also be sharing the information with people. So talking openly about stillbirth and preventative measures, is a great support for us because we are all about awareness. Awareness is our motto, getting this out there so that people can understand that there is a way for sacred pregnancy.
That stupid is to birth it happens every day in Australia six times. And there that means there are six families that are going home with empty arms and broken hearts and that's what we're trying to prevent from happening. And the good news is it works. We also know that overseas has shown that in doing this, we have the ability to prevent to present more stupid. So that's pretty huge. We're talking about three babies a day that we could be saving just through those, those very easy to do things, monitoring movements, strike pattern frequency, sleeping on your side, and trusting your your self, a new baby trusting your instincts.
So, yes, time, money and also just sharing sharing information. But we're a nonprofit that has no government funding or no funding, actually. We rely on the generosity and charity of others to do the good work that we do and distributed hundreds of thousands of brochures and educated thousands and thousands of people and clinicians every year in Australia, which don't you know, it's been five years. Yes, a fifth year. Yeah. Which is momentous and incredible.
You've you know, if you think of when you started to what you're doing now, which is incredible. Yes. But it certainly it just down? Absolutely. It's a snowball effect that's just growing and growing and growing, we always knew that it was needed and that it would get, you know, legs quickly because no one had done it before. But there was certainly people needing this in a space certainly, and clinicians to that says, Yes, we need something done about this and we've needed it for such a long time.
So it's it's integral that we continue to do this good work in this space, and provide an avenue of awareness and support for nine months in the pregnancy period. So I think yet we're not going anywhere. We are now growing. Yes. Thank you that, you know, incredible easy to understand fantastic information that Lisa, lots of you in your pregnancy will not only help you, but maybe you know, start that conversation a lot more easily. It's not something to shy away from.
It's very important that it's discussed because we need to be He can't just pretend that it doesn't happen. That's right. And these children deserve us talking about it. Because these are our babies born healthy well, and with all without breath, there are children, and they deserve every validation that they can get. So we just want you to have safe pregnancies and to do our best to help you have a safer pregnancy so that you have the best opportunity to take your baby home and in your arms, have a lot of happy parenting life with them outside of the wind. So thanks so much, everybody, for listening and thank you, everyone.