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Book cover of They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth

They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth

by Janel Atlas

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Pages: 280
ISBN: 9781442204126

Available to Buy

Overview of They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth

Stillbirth, defined as the death of an infant between 20 weeks' gestation and birth, is a tragedy repeated thirty thousand times every year in the United States. That means more than eighty mothers a day feel their babies slip silently from their bodies, the only sound in the delivery room their own sobs. Eighty stillborn babies a day means heartbroken families mourn the death of children who will never breathe, gurgle, learn to walk, or go to school. In 2006, Janel Atlas became one of those mothers who left the hospital with empty arms; her second daughter, Beatrice Dianne, was stillborn at 36 weeks. Reaching out for comfort, she realized a dire need shared by so many others like her, and so was born a collection of new essays by writers each sharing their firsthand experiences with stillbirth. Atlas includes selections not only from mothers but also fathers and grandparents, all of whom have intimate stories to share with readers. In addition, there are selections that answer many of the medical questions families have in the wake of a stillbirth and that offer the latest research on this devastating loss and how it might be prevented. Grieving parents will find in these pages the comfort of knowing they are not alone on this painful path, validation of their babies' lives, and guidance from those who have suffered this tragedy. In addition, They Were Still Born both inspires and shows readers how to honor and remember their own babies and stories of loss. No parent- or grandparent-to-be sets out planning to purchase They Were Still Born. Unfortunately, there will always be readers-devastated, grieving, and searching for voices to help them through-who need it.

About the Author, Janel Atlas

Janel C. Atlas is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in various regional and national publications. Since her daughter's stillbirth, Atlas has written extensively about pregnancy and infant loss and spoken with many leading researchers in the field. She studied English Literature at Messiah College (PA), and now lives in Delaware with her husband and daughters.

Reviews of They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth

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Delaware Online

The nearly two-dozen-chapter book's authors include a wide variety of men and women — a bereavement specialist, an obstetrician, a staff writer for The Washington Post, a registered nurse, a professor, an anthropologist, and more, all of whom share their experiences....In addition to the poignant essays, They Were Still Born includes a section called "The Way Forward," which features ideas for honoring and remembering your baby and engaging in creative expressions of grief. It also includes chapters on what doctors currently know about stillbirth, as well as emerging research on the topic. There is also a 10-page listing of resource books for adults and children, support networks, blogs and more.

The Lancet

There is useful information about the need for more autopsies following stillbirth and better data collection to assist with research into 'unexplained' stillbirth. Overall, this book should be a valuable resource not only for mothers grieving for a stillborn child, but also for their partners, relatives, and the wider community.

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