Bereavement Services

While Mater Mothers’ Hospitals welcomes more than 10 000 babies every year, the reality is that approximately 150 families leave hospital with empty arms. This can be anywhere from early pregnancy right through to full term. These tragic losses are for a number of reasons but what remains the same is the sense of loss and grief.

Whether you are a grieving parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, co-worker or friend, we have put together some resources to help you navigate through this difficult time. Remember each situation is different and there is no right or wrong way when dealing with the loss of a baby. Be patient and be kind and seek professional assistance if you need to.

Our Perinatal Loss Coordinator Belinda Norman has created a series of articles for anyone touched by the death of a baby.

Navigating the loss of your baby

What do you say when your colleague's baby dies?

Information brochures

Bereavement Support Program

Your new pregnancy after your baby has died


Early pregnancy loss – sensitive care at a difficult time

Stories of Loss and Hope

Mater Mums who have experienced loss share their personal stories to give hope to other families suffering in their grief. Readers may find some content and images distressing.

Trill's Story

Caroline's Story

Jodie's Story

Kelly and Lee's Story

Mallory's Story

The Story of Vivienne Rose

Paula–Hayley’s Mum’s story

Emma and Conor's Story

Ellissa's Story

Finding out why your baby has died

As you start to grieve the death of your baby, it is likely that you will begin to have some questions about why this has happened. Sometimes we may not know why your baby died. If this is the case the doctor will talk to you about the advantages of having an autopsy performed. This is when a specialist doctor performs an 'operation' on your baby to attempt to find out the cause of death. We realise that this can be a foreign or distressing concept however, we also know that many parents have regretted not having an autopsy. Further discussion and information about investigations into finding the cause of your baby's death will occur after the birth. It is common for grieving parents to need information repeated more than once.

Parents Georgia and Ben share their stillbirth experience and discuss how deciding to autopsy their daughter Amelia wasn't as difficult as they they thought it would be.

Centre of Research Excellence and Stillbirth

The Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) in Stillbirth is a collaboration addressing the tragedy of stillbirth, administered by the Mater Research Institute - University of Queensland (MRI-UQ). The CRE aims to reduce the rate of stillbirth and improve care for parents and families whose baby is stillborn in Australia.

Partnership and collaboration is essential to meet the objectives of the CRE and ensure rapid translation of research into practice and contribute to global stillbirth prevention initiatives.

The Stillbirth CRE will undertake a research program addressing priorities across four major priority areas:

  • Risk factors for stillbirth; developing and implementing best practice in care of women at or near term.
  • Novel methods for risk prediction; markers/interventions for women at risk.
  • Best care after stillbirth; improving care after stillbirth and in subsequent pregnancies
  • Understanding the causes; improving data quality through investigation, audit and classification.

Annual Dates for Remembrance

October 15 - International Pregnancy and Infant Loss day is held every year. A Wave of Light Remembrance service is held at 7 pm for the babies lost at Mater Mothers' Hospitals.

Third Saturday of March each year - Early Pregnancy Loss service is held at 2 pm, New Haven Memorial Park, 21 Quinns Rd, Stapylton Qld.

Further Information

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