Rise in still births triggers investigation at Griffith Base

A FRIGHTENING spike in the number of stillbirths in Griffith has triggered an investigation into the possible cause.

Tragically, there were six babies stillborn at Griffith Base Hospital in January alone, which Murrumbidgee Local Health District chief executive Susan Weisser confirmed was a definite increase.

“The loss of a child is a tragic event and Griffith Base Hospital (GBH)  extends its sympathy to families who have suffered a stillbirth,” Ms Weisser said.

“The circumstances of each birth are being reviewed by Murrumbidgee Local Health District’s (MLHD’s) clinical governance unit and Clinical Midwifery Consultant.

“The MLHD has also consulted with NSW Health’s Clinical Excellence Commission on the clinical review.

“Patients, families and GBH maternity staff have been offered support and counselling.

“We respect the privacy of all families involved.”

Seven years ago, Griffith mum Nicole Dickie experienced firsthand the heartbreaking loss of her little boy Elliot when she was just 20 weeks and six days pregnant. 

Still coming to terms with the loss she formed a support group called Mummy’s of Angels. The aim was to provide support for grieving parents who have lost a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death.

“The main thing is to let them know that they are not alone,” Mrs Dickie said.

“A lot of people think they are the only ones going through it but that’s not the case.

“I know how hard it can be. There was nobody I could turn to. That’s why I started the support group.

“It will be seven years in June since I started the group.”

Mrs Dickie is encouraging local parents to contact her if they are finding it hard to cope.

“I’m here. Even if it’s just a shoulder to cry on or to acknowledge that their baby was here,” she said.

According to the Stillbirth Foundation Australia a stillbirth is when a baby dies while inside its mother and can occur at anytime from 20 weeks until immediately before birth.

Locals looking for support can contact Nicole call 0467 644 687.

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