What is a stillbirth?
When a baby dies after 24 weeks of pregnancy and before or during birth, it is known as a stillbirth. Sadly, it happens in around 1 in 280 births in England.
The loss of a baby before 24 weeks of pregnancy is classed as a miscarriage. We know that many people who have a late miscarriage (between 12-24 weeks of pregnancy) give birth to their baby and, understandably, feel that it should be called a stillbirth . But try to remember that this is just terminology for legal purposes.
The death of a baby in the first 28 days of life is known as a neonatal death.
We understand that there is overlap between the causes of stillbirth, neonatal death and late miscarriage and the grief this leads to for parents. A lot of the supportive information in this section is relevant to all parents suffering from the death of a baby in late pregnancy so it may be more helpful for you if you’ve been through a late miscarriage. But we do also have support and advice specifically about miscarriage if that is more useful for you.
Support for you
The death of a baby is one of the most devastating experiences any family can go through. We are here to support families who are going through this very difficult time. We have worked with parents who have experienced stillbirth, their families and professionals who have supported them to develop supportive information to help parents who have suffered a stillbirth.
If you would like to talk to one of our Tommy’s midwives about stillbirth, they have experience talking about baby loss and will be able to talk to you about what you’re going through. You can call them for free on 0800 0147 800, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.