Claire Foord: Still Aware: Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Turning grief into a driving force to protect other families
Resilient. Passionate. Inspiring
After learning her daughter’s stillbirth could have been prevented, a devastated Claire Foord was determined to help protect others from grief.
Claire founded Still Aware in 2014 to raise awareness about stillbirth and prevent deaths. Now she travels the country, giving talks to parents and educating clinicians.
Her daughter Alfie’s death could have been prevented with simple communication and education, she says.
“It’s very simple advice, and most of it is around seven protective actions parents can do each day. Babies have a frequency and pattern of movements, and that’s the best tool we have of measuring how they are going.”
Still Aware is similar to overseas campaigns that have been shown to help decrease the number of stillbirths, over half of which occur at full-term.
“Australia must catch up. Every year we could be saving more than a thousand babies’ lives,” says Claire, whose work also involves supporting grieving families.
She is humbled to be named a Westfield Local Hero and says the honour also belongs to the people who work with her.
“While I might be leading the organisation and starting the change, without this army of people we could never achieve what we want to do,” she says.
“My daughter Alfie is why we started the charity, but it’s for everybody else that we continue to exist.”
Claire says stillbirth is the leading cause of death in children aged under fourteen, with the loss of babies in pregnancy devastating to siblings, grandparents and other family members as well as parents.
“Our work saves babies’ lives. We want to end preventable stillbirth and reduce the number of broken-hearted families who leave the birthing suite without their babies.”
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation.
Still Aware will use its grant to fund twenty education sessions for midwives, GPs, obstetricians and other health professionals on stillbirth prevention.
“The funding will aid us to dramatically move forward with what we are attempting to achieve with reduction of stillbirth in Australia,” says Claire.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.