Stillbirths happen ten times more frequently than SIDS: 1 in 2,500 babies die from SIDS; 1 in 200 are stillborn. Around 4,000 babies are stillborn each year.

Yet while the levels of SIDS have fallen dramatically in recent years, levels of stillbirth have remained virtually unchanged for 20 years.

A large proportion of stillbirths seem to occur in otherwise healthy babies and the cause often cannot be explained. Like SIDS, the nature of an unexplained death is incomprehensible, heartbreaking and often exacerbates and prolongs the grief.

It is shocking that the majority of stillbirths happen in pregnancies that were considered to be low risk. In many cases the baby died near the end of the pregnancy, which means that if they had been delivered the baby might potentially have survived.

However, many stillbirths are linked to placental complications. This means that for some reason the placenta (the organ that links the baby’s blood supply to the mother’s and nourishes the baby in the womb) is not functioning properly.

Researchers believe that with greater funding more at-risk pregnancies could be identified earlier and prevent this tragic loss.


NHS Choices:

You don't die from a broken heart, you only wish you did