University of Utah Health launches regional first with Utah Pregnancy After Loss program

SALT LAKE CITY — When it was time to give birth to her firstborn son, Jaymie Maines wished she could have been somewhere else.

“My life changed forever. My husband Mark and I were told our full-term baby had no heartbeat. I was admitted and forced to deliver a piece of my heart that I will never be able to hold again,” Maines said. . “There wasn’t much sympathy from my caregiver; he was there to do work and it was clear that neither he nor I wanted to be there that day.”

The night after losing her son James, Maines recalled being desperate for connection and reading stories online of women who had experienced similar things.

“I remember lying awake in complete despair, with literal pain in my arms, drowning in swollen breast milk — I sent an email,” Maines said.

That email put her in touch with a support group of about six women “from all walks of life who had the bond they needed to help each other through,” she added. The support group became crucial to her healing, especially when she and her husband considered having another child. The couple was referred to Dr. Bob Silver, who first met them for a consultation.

“We knew we wanted to try again, but the fear was paralyzing. It’s such a complicated place to be,” Maines recalls. “As we sat at the table, my husband and I, along with Dr. Silver, discussed our loss. I was not just a number in his office, he showed an interest in my current loss, an interest in my mental health.”

The intersection of mental health, peer-to-peer family support, data collection and physical health is part of the first regional Pregnancy After Loss program, which officially launched with a ribbon-cutting event on Monday.

University of Utah Health’s Utah Pregnancy After Loss program provides care to families following stillbirth, newborn death, abortion, recurrent pregnancy loss, placental disorders and preterm birth. Those who have recently experienced a loss can meet with the program’s providers, who are specially trained to provide sensitive care around grief and explore possible causes. Patients seeking to conceive again can receive preconception counseling, and those conceiving after a loss can receive all their prenatal care at the clinic.

“Stillbirth is truly one of the most devastating and saddest pregnancy complications in the United States and is far too common. In the United States, it affects about one in 175 pregnancies. While our country has significant resources, our stillbirth rate is much higher than other comparable countries, our ability to reduce that rate is much slower than other comparable countries,” Silver said at the event.

“This clinic is part of an effort to really get better at stillbirth in Utah, in Salt Lake, in the Intermountain West, in the United States and in the world. So thank you for that,” he continued.

The program was developed in collaboration with families and women who have experienced loss – women like Maines, who helped cut the clinic’s ribbon with her three children, whom Silver delivered.

“With each baby, he showed genuine care and interest as I began to recover after one of the births. I remember personally receiving a call from him as he boarded a plane to leave the country… that goes a long way long road for a mother who initially felt abandoned by her healthcare provider,” said Maines “What a wonderful opportunity this rainbow clinic will be for those with similar experiences.”