Listening to Parents

If you were invited or took part in the survey and would like more information please visit our Information for Study Parents page.

Listening to Parents results

The results of Listening to Parents were launched at a meeting of the Maternity and Newborn Forum of the Royal Society of Medicine on 9th April 2014, attended by over 100 specialist bereavement midwives, obstetricians, researchers, parents and others working with bereaved parents.


Listening to Parents report

To request a free copy of the Listening to Parents report please email Pamela White or telephone 01865 617901.

The survey

Listening to Parents was a national survey of maternity care for women who had a stillborn baby or a baby who died in the neonatal period in England. This work is funded by the Department of Health as part of the Policy Research Unit in Maternal Health and Care and was reviewed and approved by Oxford 'A' Research Ethics Committee (Ref. 12/SC/0322).

The aim was to explore and describe the maternity care experiences of women, and their partners, who had a stillborn baby or whose baby died in the neonatal period. The results provide up-to-date information about care, and women’s and partners’ experience and perceptions of that care, and will be used to help improve maternity services for women and families who experience such a loss.

Who worked on this survey?

The survey was designed by a team of people including NPEU researchers and representatives of Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, and Bliss, a leading charity working to improve care for sick and premature babies. Researchers Maggie Redshsaw, Rachel Rowe and Jane Henderson worked on the survey. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) used birth and death registration records to select women to take part in the survey.

When did the survey take place?

The survey took place in two waves, in 2012 and 2013.

Survey results

Surveys were returned by more than 700 women and their partners. The results were published in the Listening to Parents report . The findings have also been presented at conferences and meetings and will continue to be published in peer-reviewed journals.

Will there be follow-on work?

This area of research continues to be important and further analyses are ongoing. A systematic review has been published which brings together what is known from a range of studies relating to the impact of contact with the stillborn infant on mothers’ and partners’ mental health and wellbeing. View the paper on the BMJ website.

Building on this review, further analysis of the experiences of study parents seeing and holding their stillborn babies is in progress.

How will the results of the survey be used?

What we learn will be used by Sands and Bliss in their campaigning, by policy makers and in developing guidelines for care.

For more information please contact: Maggie Redshaw, Rachel Rowe, Jane Henderson

Email: listeningtoparents@npeu.ox.ac.uk