Welcome to the ISA Prevention Working Group (PreWG)! 

Who are we?

Like the other ISA working groups, the PreWG is a group of bereaved parents, researchers and clinicians. The PreWG is co-chaired by Vicki Flenady, vice-chair of ISA and head of the Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence of the Mater Research Institute at the University of Queensland, which is ISA’s first regional office and Dr Fleurisca Korteweg of the University of Groningen.

Our focus is to support ISA’s mission of prevention of stillbirths and newborn deaths. We align our work with the Lancet’s Ending Preventable Stillbirth Series call to action and aim to position stillbirth in the context of maternal and child health, i.e. across the continuum of pregnancy, birth and newborn health.

We aim to have members representing low, middle and high income countries as well as areas of relevant expertise including public health specialists. If you would like to know more about the PreWG, please contact us; we look forward to hearing from you!

What do we do?

The PreWG has several key areas of work. Please read on! And be sure to let us know what you think about our work through Twitter #EndStillbirths or on our Facebook page (don’t forget to like us at International Stillbirth Alliance!).

IMPROVE: IMPROVE (IMproving Perinatal Review and Outcomes Via Education) program is an educational program for maternity and newborn health care professionals on best practice care around the time of a perinatal death [add link https://www.stillbirthcre.org.au/education-and-grants/improve-workshops/]. IMPROVE workshops are typically a half-day long and cover: 

  1. appropriate practices around principles of bereavement care; 
  2. communicating with parents about autopsy; 
  3. clinical examination of the baby; 
  4. placental and post-mortem examination; 
  5. investigations for stillbirth; and 
  6. audit classification. 

IMPROVE workshops are made internationally available at annual ISA conferences and country workshops.

We are excited to announce that IMPROVE is now available as an eLearning program! The new online training package is designed to support maternity healthcare professionals respond to women who experience stillbirth, conduct investigations, and communicate with parents.

The IMPROVE Program was developed by the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand and its ongoing management is undertaken in partnership with the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence. Please contact us to learn more or if you are interested in bringing IMPROVE to your clinical or academic setting!

CLASSIFICATION: The goal of the classification system project is to improve the quality of data on causes and contributory factors in perinatal deaths (stillbirths and neonatal deaths) through implementing a standardized, high-quality classification system for data-rich settings.

Under this project, we will create, evaluate and disseminate a hybrid classification system drawing on the best features of existing systems; these were identified through a global consultation process and reported here [https://bmcpregnancychildbirth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12884-016-0993-x].

The second phase of this work aims to develop an ISA classification system for assessing substandard care factors. Our intent is for this work to align with recommendations in the WHO guidelines for perinatal mortality [https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/monitoring/icd-10-perinatal-deaths/en/]. 

AUDIT: Another of our new projects aims to increase parent engagement in perinatal mortality audit. 

POSITION STATEMENTS: We will also be working to update the ISA Decreased Fetal Movement Position Statement. We will also be identifying other priority topics for development of position statements, most likely including  smoking cessation.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more!