Call to Action
The Lancet stillbirth series in 2011 and 2016 brought attention to the need to reduce stillbirth rates in high-income countries and to improve care for families who experience this tragedy. While not every stillbirth is preventable, countries including the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands and New Zealand have had success in reducing stillbirth rates. Their efforts informed strategies to reduce stillbirth in Australia and can inform Canada in helping develop their own action and implementation plan.
An Adapted Action Plan
Canada’s national action and implementation plan to reduce stillbirths could look remarkably like Australia's plan that was published in December 2020 as our two countries’ challenges regarding stillbirth are similar. Australia’s action plan was itself adapted from the action plans developed in the UK.
5 Key Areas
Below are the 5 key areas on which we are asking the government to take action. Annual progress reports would be provided to the House of Commons by the Minister of Health and made publicly available. The action plan would be reviewed every five years. A monitoring and evaluation framework would be developed in consultation with key stakeholders. This would incorporate measures to assess progress against reducing inequities among groups who are at increased risk of stillbirth.
1. Ensuring high quality stillbirth prevention and care
Implementing best practices in stillbirth prevention
Ensuring culturally sensitive stillbirth prevention and care for First Nations, Inuit and Métis individuals
Ensuring culturally and linguistically appropriate models for stillbirth prevention and care for migrants and refugees
Ensuring equity in stillbirth prevention among other high-risk groups
Providing national guidelines on stillbirth prevention
2. Raising awareness and strengthening education
Promoting community awareness and understanding of stillbirth
Developing and implementing a national evidence-based, culturally sensitive stillbirth education program for health professionals
3. Improving holistic bereavement care and community support following stillbirth
Implementing best practice care for parents and families who experience stillbirth
Improving care in subsequent pregnancies for women who have experienced stillbirth
Providing national guidelines on bereavement care following stillbirth
4. Improving stillbirth reporting and data collection
Improving investigation and reporting of stillbirth
Tracking progress to reduce inequities
5. Prioritising stillbirth research
Prioritising research into stillbirth prevention
Providing broader access to stillbirth research
We're continuing to bring together individuals and organizations to advocate for national change. Below is a summary of what the community has accomplished so far, and we're just getting started.
Letters to the Health Minister
8 letters of support to the Health Minister of Canada from leading health organizations and advocates.
A petition of 726 signatures was presented to the House of Commons of Canada to ask the government to take action to end preventable stillbirths in our country.