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Every year in the UK there are
more than 3,600 stillbirths,
every 200 births ends in a
stillbirth. It is 15 times
more common than cot death.

So Why is it we talk to pregnant women about miscarriage
and cot death, but not stillbirth, which is ten times
more common than cot death?’

Some bereaved parents had never even heard the
term ’stillbirth’. When their lives are devastated
this tragedy, many ask why they were never told it
could happen.
Around 61,000 babies are born
prematurely in the UK every

Premature birth is the biggest
killer of babies in the UK.
Tragically, around 1,200
babies die in the UK each year
after being born too soon.

Many others who survive a very
early birth develop lifelong
problems such as cerebral
palsy, blindness and learning

Despite these dangers, little
is known about why some women
go into labour too soon.

As well as this, miscarriage is
the most common type of
pregnancy loss. studies reveal
that anywhere from 10-25% of all
clinically recognized
pregnancies will end in

Taking ten times more lives than
cot death, stillbirth is more
than a personal tragedy, it is a
public health crisis. Urgent
advances are needed to
understand and raise awareness
of the causes of stillbirth and
how it can be prevented.

So why is there a silence
surrounding baby loss and
not enough knowledge
surrounding these issues?


Society generally expects men to be strong and
supportive, and many men assume that this is their role.
But this can mean that the fathers’ needs and feelings
tend to be ignored when it comes to baby loss.

Advice commonly given is ’Be strong’ and ’Don’t cry’.
This advice may be well meant but probably not helpful
especially to men where society say men don’t cry and if
they do they are weak but this isn’t the case,

Crying if you are male or female is not a sign of
weakness, it’s a sign of the love and pride you have
for the child who died.

Every parent’s experience is unique, and every
circumstance is diverse, but the death of a baby can
bring a heartache that is deeper and lasts much longer
than most people realise.

Many parents say they never knew it was possible to feel
such dysphoria, and that their lives are turned
completely upside down.
Pregnancy really is a miracle. From one cell, create an
we entirely new human being!

Sometimes babies die before or during the birth, the
midwife or nurse will usually ask the parents if
they would like to see and perhaps hold him or her.
Many parents may feel the idea of seeing and holding
their baby strange and a bit frightening. But for many
parents, the time they spend with their baby becomes
their most precious memory and an experience that they
wouldn’t have missed for the world.

Law in the UK states parents cannot be given a birth
certificate if the child is born dead before 24

However, some hospitals give parents a
hospital certificate of birth to commemorate
their baby.
to allow parents of stillborn babies before 24 weeks
born of pregnancy
Majority of people to
the lawcertificate.
to be changed
A lot of parents feel that the term the significance
’late upsetting and feel that it
underestimates of what has happened.

The reason for this term is due to the fact that the
legal needs for registration and funerals for these
and the financial support that you may be entitled to,
are different.

There is a taboo and silence around this subject
which people are slowly trying to break.

There are campaigns online on The world’s largest
petition platform to get the department of heath in the
UK to change their law and allow registered birth
certificates for children born from 20 weeks.

On top of this a popular soap Coronation street
incorporated a heartbreaking storyline about

this storyline was made to raise awareness of the
issues and help remove the stigma surrounding still

The script was developed with advice from specialist
bereavement group Sands, which ensured that proper
terminology and information was used so the story
would relate to viewers who have had similar

There are many support groups in the UK for
bereaved parents and their families.

Some support groups are run by parents who’ve
experienced stillbirth, or by healthcare professionals,
such as baby loss support workers or specialist midwives.
The biggest charities are Sands & Tommy’s
improve the care bereaved parents receive from care
health and other professionals;
Sands is a UK charity that works across the country
to support anyone affected by the death of a baby;
and reduce the number of babies who do die by funding
research and working closely with other organisations
to create a world where fewer babies die.
Tommy’s are the largest charity funding research into
the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature

We also provide information for parents-to-be to help
them have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Although because of the silence around the subject
some people may not reach out for support.

World Prematurity Day, is a global movement to raise
awareness of premature birth and the sometimes
devastating impact it can have on families.

It’s held on 17th of November, people and charities come
together to talk about premature birth in and take
action on behalf of the 15 million babies born early
every year.

Through research and funding, there have been
some interesting discoveries.
Doctors observed premature babies in NICU nestle
with their soft toys.

The babies that cradled their octopus were found to
have health improvements with their breathing, regular

strong oxygen blood levels, and were less disturbed by
the various monitors and IVs.

Overall, having the tiny toy performed as a great
comforting effect on the babies.

Some hospitals now call upon crocheters to help
create small octopuses for all premature babies born
in their hospitals.

Who knew that a crocheted octopus toy could have such
a big impact?

Doctors have also said that the eight-tentacled sea
creatures make the babies feel more secure as the
tentacles remind them most of their mother’s
umbilical cord.

(Not to mention, octopi have three hearts so maybe they
offer more love and affection than any other animal -
even in crochet form.)

Thanks to advances in technology and medicine,
healthcare providers are now better able to treat
premature babies for a number of problems, ranging from
brain and heart problems to infections.

Today, healthcare workers also have access to other
drugs that help critically ill babies breathe.

When used with a ventilator, a gas called nitric oxide
treats respiratory failure by widening blood vessels
in the lungs.

Despite this and other advancements, care of
premature babies could still be improved in many

neonatal care is set to continue improving in the
coming years.

Huggies designed a special set of extra-tiny nappies to
fit premature babies and new-borns weighing less than
two pounds.

They are called Huggies Little Snugglers Nano
Preemie Diapers,

which are Part of the ’No Baby Unhugged’, a project in
which Huggies promise to ensure babies get the hugs
they need to thrive,

the nappy comes as a solution for all fragile babies
who are left unprotected due to the make and the sizing
of nappies readily available.

The company teamed up with nurses and neonatal
therapists to develop them and ensure they offer exactly
what premature babies need, with special details,
for example having specially-sized fasteners,

as this works easiest for parents, and a narrow,
absorbent pad makes sure the baby is comfortably
positioned with arms and legs close to the body.
Soft materials have also been used in order to
prevent irritating any underdeveloped skin.

Pampers also released a similar nappie for premature
infants, also designed with neonatal professionals,
last year.

Advances in medical science have enabled younger
and smaller babies to survive,

which has created the need for even smaller preemie
nappies that are also specially designed to meet
their unique needs.
The only downside? These nappies only available in the
are US. It is possible to get your on some - they are
hands selling on sites such as you can spare £50,
Amazon. If that is.

Hospital trusts in England are to get additional
in an attempt to cut the rate stillbirths.
of Currently
suites some hospitals
for families who suffer a maternity bereavement
loss, including the
chance to spend time and have photos taken with
their baby.


There is still much to be done to ensure our rate
of stillbirth and miscarriage goes down.

Reports say that in nearly half of all stillbirths
(46%), the causes of death are unknown.

Sands says that a fall in the death rates will not
happen without extra money.

Maternity units are already struggling, without the
staff to give high-risk women the extra scans they need,

they say. Midwives are not getting sufficient training
and some units do not have the funds for the monitoring
equipment they need.

Bliss, the premature and sick baby charity, said there
were significant staffing shortages in neonatal
intensive care units and the report should be a wake-up

"Over 90,000 babies born in the UK each year depend on
neonatal care to survive and thrive - and that care
depends on hospitals having the right numbers of
nurses and doctors in place to meet quality
said Caroline Davey, Bliss’s chief executive.

Slowly parents and others are making their collective
voice heard and demanding action now to prevent
babies’ deaths.
It’s time to end this silence around baby loss.

ending this silence will help in supporting fundraising
which will lead to better research, investments in
improved training for staff, new safety equipment and
making sure hospitals review and learn from every
tragic case.