Support after stillbirth: Findings from the Parent Voices Initiative Global Registry Project


  • Vicki Ponce Hardy International Stillbirth Alliance, UK
  • Alexandra Beedle Independent consultant, UK
  • Sam Murphy The Open University, UK
  • Claire Storey International Stillbirth Alliance, USA
  • Neelam Aggarwal Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
  • Rakhi Dandona Public Health Foundation of India, Gurugram, India; Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, USA
  • Alka Dev Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA
  • Patricia Doherty Options Consultancy Services Ltd, UK
  • Alexander Heazell Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre, Division of Developmental Biology and Medicine, University of Manchester, UK; Department of Obstetrics, St Mary's Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, UK
  • Mary Kinney School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape, South Africa
  • Sara Nam Options Consultancy Services Ltd, UK
  • Paula Quigley DAI Global Health, USA
  • Sue Steen Maple Grove Hospital, Bethel University, Minnesota, USA
  • Linda A. Vanotoo PROMISE Initiative Ghana; Results for Development Accelerator, Ghana
  • Susannah Leisher Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine, USA; International Stillbirth Alliance, USA; Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence, University of Queensland, Australia
  • Hannah Blencowe Maternal, Adolescent, Reproductive & Child Health Centre, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK



stillbirth, bereavement care, respectful care


The need for respectful bereavement care following a stillbirth has been poorly recognised within global public health initiatives. To date, there has been no comprehensive cataloguing of providers that support parents after stillbirth, nor any review of the challenges they face. We aimed to identify providers (organisations and point persons) that support bereaved parents worldwide and to investigate the challenges they face.

A systematic global online search was conducted to identify providers of support after stillbirth. Subsets of providers were surveyed and interviewed. These were purposively sampled to achieve diversity in geography, organisation size and point person role. Challenges in providing support in six key areas – stigma, funding, reach, policy, workforce, and advocacy – were analysed thematically.

Overall, 621 providers from 75 countries were identified. No support providers were identified in 123 countries, and in the 6 countries that carry almost half of the global burden of stillbirths, only 8 support providers were found. Support providers faced challenges in accessing funding, reaching key populations, and training and retaining staff, while complex policies hampered bereavement care. Support providers were challenged by silence and stigma around stillbirth. Overcoming these challenges requires collaboration, effort, and political will at local and international scales.


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How to Cite

Ponce Hardy, V., Beedle, A., Murphy, S., Storey, C., Aggarwal, N., Dandona, R., Dev, A., Doherty, P., Heazell, A., Kinney, M., Nam, S., Quigley, P., Steen, S., Vanotoo, L. A., Leisher, S., & Blencowe, H. (2023). Support after stillbirth: Findings from the Parent Voices Initiative Global Registry Project. Bereavement, 2.