Support After Fetal Diagnosis of Abnormality (SAFDA)
Termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality is well recognised as a traumatic experience for families. Many couples will learn to cope following termination of pregnancy for fetal abnormality. However, some couples will benefit from additional support. For many years, it was difficult for families to receive support and acknowledgement for this complex grief.
SAFDA (Support After Fetal Diagnosis of Abnormality) was established in South Australia in 1999 to support parents and families before and after termination of pregnancy for a fetal abnormality. From its inception, SAFDA offered peer support meetings, a regular newsletter, telephone contact with experienced bereaved families, resources, education of health professionals and one-on-one counselling.
In recent years, families have been able to access support more readily, both within the medical field and the community. Anecdotally, we see the rise of social media providing opportunities for families to connect and feel heard within the comfort of their own home and even anonymously. With attendance and enquiries about SAFDA reducing each year, it has become unsustainable to offer the services previously offered under SAFDA.
The Paediatric and Reproductive Genetics Unit, based at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, was the professional arm of SAFDA (in partnership with experienced consumers) and will continue to offer counselling and resources for families in this setting. Please contact the Genetics Service (on 8161 7375) should you wish to talk further about your support needs.
Red Nose (formally Sids and Kids) and Sands (miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death) are nation-wide support groups that amalgamated in 2019-2020. Their scope has expanded to include termination of pregnancy and they offer peer support as part of Sands. They are also working towards offering a range of support for families following termination of pregnancy. Please see the Sands website for more information.
Over the years, many support services have provided resources, which may include fact sheets and a list of recommended books. Below is a selection of resources we have relied on in the past. This list is not exhaustive, but it is a safe place to start if you wish to seek more information.
Paediatric and Reproductive Genetics Unit