An international conference about perinatal death will take place in Glasgow from 7-9 June 2018.

Organised by the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA), it will bring together researchers and parents from across the world to share knowledge, experiences and models of how to bring about change.

This year ISA’s annual conference gives UK parents and families the opportunity to hear first-hand about international stillbirth and neonatal research and best practice in bereavement care.

The conference will highlight research that contributes to reducing baby deaths before and soon after birth as well as unexpected deaths in infancy, including Sudden Infant Death (SIDS). It will showcase research and good practice in bereavement care and support services, and all delegates are welcome to attend any of the sessions including the workshops and presentations.

The conference is unusual in bringing bereaved families, health care professionals and researchers together. The aim is to share knowledge and importantly to unite all those who have the common goal of working towards fewer baby deaths and improving care after a baby dies.

A pre-conference day on 6 June is aimed primarily at parents and families, with time and space to meet up, share experiences and take part in shared activities. For those interested in knowing more about research there is a session on the 8 June for parents to meet researchers and ask questions. A remembrance ceremony for all delegates will be held at Glasgow Cathedral on 7 June.

The Scottish Cot Death Trust (SCDT), who are supporting the conference organisation, are looking for volunteers to help organise activities at the conference. They also welcome ideas for the conference programme and for the remembrance ceremony. You can find out how to contribute on the SCDT Facebook page

Janet Scott, Research and Prevention Lead at Sands, said: “Sands has supported ISA since its start in when it was, like Sands, set up by bereaved parents who wanted to push for change. The collaboration between researchers and parent groups has created a powerful voice that has brought stillbirths to global attention. ISA researchers have carried out studies that have directly influenced UK policy on maternity care.  

“We’re delighted ISA is returning to the UK, reinforcing the focus across all UK countries on reducing baby deaths. Sands is excited to be contributing to the conference and we look forward, alongside UK parents, maternity professionals and researchers, to being informed and inspired.”

A play exploring the social isolation that can follow the death of a child will premiere during the conference. After a short run in Glasgow it will go on to tour Scotland. Families’ voices have provided the content for the play that was written during workshops with bereaved parents during January.

The conference is a timely opportunity to redouble attention and focus on reducing baby deaths. With around 15 baby deaths a day in the UK alone there is a so much still to be done.

You can find out more and register for the conference at: www.ispid-isa.org/2018