Stillbirth statistics

1 in every 225 births ends in a stillbirth in the UK. That's 9 babies every day.

Stillbirth statistics

How common is stillbirth in the UK? 

  • In 2016, 1 in every 225 births ended in a stillbirth in the UK.
  • For every 1,000 babies born in England and Wales, 4.4 are stillborn.
  • Around 9 babies were stillborn every day in 2016.
  • Of 696,271 births in 2016 in England and Wales, 3,112 resulted in stillbirth.
  • In 2016, Britain was 24th out of 49 high income countries.
  • Croatia, Poland and Czech Republic all have better stillbirth rates than UK.

How does obesity affect the risk of stillbirth?

In women with a BMI over 30, the risk of stillbirth rises to 1 in 100.

Why do stillbirths happen?

In the UK around half of all stillbirths are linked to placental complications. Other causes include bleeding before or during labour, placental abruption, pre-eclampsia, a problem with the umbilical cord, obstetric cholestasis, a genetic physical defect in the baby, type 1 or 2 diabetes, and infection in the mother that also affects the baby. Reduced fetal movement is a good indicator of stillbirth, with slowing down of movement noticed by the mother in around half of stillbirths.

Stillbirth and mental health

An estimated 4.2 million women are living with depression associated with previous stillbirth.

Read more information and support for parents who have suffered a stillbirth here.

Read about what Tommy's is doing to cut stillbirth rates here

Media requests about stillbirth

Our clinicians, scientists and researchers are available to speak about stillbirth for press and media. If you are interested in speaking to a clinician from a Tommy's stillbirth research centre, contact Hannah Blake, telephone: 07730 039361 or email [email protected]

Read more about our work

  • The team at the Rainbow Clinic

    The Rainbow Clinic

    The Tommy's Rainbow Clinic is part of the Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. It provides specialist care for women who have suffered a previous stillbirth or neonatal death.

  • Diagram of baby and placenta in womb

    The Placenta Clinic

    The Placenta Clinic, run as part of the Tommy's Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester, is the largest placenta-focused research group in the world.

  • researcher looking through microscope

    Tommy’s Manchester Research Centre

    Tommy’s research centre at St Mary’s Hospital opened in 2001 and is now home to around 100 clinicians and scientists researching the causes of stillbirth.

  • Team of researchers

    Research into stillbirth

    When a baby dies after 24 weeks of gestation, it is called a stillbirth. Around 2.6 million babies are stillborn each year. Tommy’s research is helping to change this.

Why our research is necessary

Sources

1. ONS (2017) Vital statistics: population and health reference tables 2017, Office of National Statistics, London, England, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigrati...

2. ONS (2017) Births in England and Wales 2016, Office of National Statistics, London, England, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarri...

3. ONS (2017) Vital statistics: population and health reference tables 2017, Office of National Statistics, London, England, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigrati...

4. ONS (2017) Vital statistics: population and health reference tables 2017, Office of National Statistics, London, England, https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigrati...

5. Flenady V, Wojcieszek AM, Middleton P (2016) Stillbirths: recall to action in high-income countries, The Lancet 2016;387(10019):691–702, http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736(15)01020-X.pdf

6. NHS Choices [accessed 10/01/2018] Overweight and pregnant, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/overweight-pregnant/

7. NHS Choices [accessed 10/01/2018] Stillbirth overview, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stillbirth/

8. RCOG (2011) Reduced fetal movements guideline 2011, green-top guideline no. 57, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London, England, https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/guidelines/gtg_57.pdf

9. The Lancet (2016) Ending preventable stillbirths 2016, http://www.thelancet.com/pb/assets/raw/Lancet/stories/series/stillbirths...

 

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