Fact Guide & Useful Links

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This section of the website contains definitions of the different types of pregnancy losses.

The links provided are for additional organisations that may provide useful general information on advocacy, health services, education, bereavement and pregnancy.


Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is any pregnancy implanted outside of the endometrial cavity.

First trimester loss

A loss within the first 12 completed weeks of pregnancy

Second trimester loss

A second trimester miscarriage may be defined as a pregnancy loss after the 12th and before the 24th completed week of pregnancy. 


A child born weighing 500 grammes or more or having a gestational age of 24 weeks or more who shows no sign of life. (Irish Stillbirths Registration Act, 1994)

Fatal fetal anomaly / life limiting conditions

Fatal fetal anomalies /life-limiting conditions include diagnoses that are highly likely to lead to death in utero or in the
newborn period (28 days of life), although for some of these diagnoses, survival beyond 28 days has been reported.

Early Neonatal Death

Death of a live born baby occurring within 7 completed days of birth. Late neonatal death: Death of a live born baby occurring after the 7th day and within 28 completed days of birth. (NPEC, 2018)

Recurrent Miscarriage

Recurrent miscarriage is the loss of two or more consecutive pregnancies within the first-trimester.

Termination of Pregnancy

The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 was signed into Irish law on 21st December 2018. There are several different circumstances under which termination of pregnancy can be legally performed.

  • Section 12 allows termination of pregnancy to be carried out by medical practitioners up to 12 weeks gestation, once a minimum of three days has elapsed from the date ofcertification. The vast majority of terminations occur under this section of the legislation.
  • Section 11 allows termination of pregnancy to be carried out in the setting of a fatal fetal anomaly and/or life limiting conditions.
  • Sections 9 and 10 allow termination of pregnancy to be carried out in the setting of a risk to life or health of the pregnant person.
  • Termination of pregnancy can be medical or surgical, and can occur in primary (medical only) and secondary care settings

Useful Links

All Ireland Institute of Hospice and Palliative Care

Anew: Support for pregnant women and mothers experiencing homelessness

Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC UK)

Association for Improvement of Maternity Services Ireland

AWARE-depression support

BPAS (British Pregnancy AdvisoryServices)

Citizens Information

Department of Health – Women’s Health Taskforce

EUROCAT – European Surveillance of Congenital Anomalies

First Candle

HIQA National Care Experience Programme

HSE Clincal Guidelines

HSE Employee Assistance Programme  (support for healthcare professionals) 

Health Service Executive

HSE Health Promotion

IHF Bereavement Support Line

Institute of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists of the Royal College of Physicians Ireland

Irish Coroners Service

Irish Multiple Births Association

Irish Medical Council

Irish Neonatal Health Alliance

Irish Patients Association

MBRRACE-UK: Mothers and Babies: Reducing Risk through Audits and Confidential Enquiries across the UK

Miscarriage Association UK

My Child-HSE Pregnancy & Parenthood advice

My Options

National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre Ireland

NISIG-National Infertility Support and Information Group

Nursing and Midwifery Board of

Patient Advocacy Service

Royal College of Physicians Ireland

RCPI National Clinical Guidelines in Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Royal College of Physicians Ireland Institute of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

Star Legacy Stillbirth Foundation

Northern Ireland (SANDS NI)

Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Society UK (SANDS UK)

The Samaritans

Twins Trust

Together for short lives

Tommy’s UK

Tusla-Child & Family Agency

Your Sexual Health (HSE)

British Association of Perinatal Medicine

British Maternal and Fetal Medicine Society

International Stillbirth Alliance

International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death

International Society for Prenatal Diagnosis