Baby loss rates in the UK

All of Tommy's work has the same goal. To reduce the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth. These are the rates of stillbirth, miscarriage and preterm births in the UK.

Current rates of baby loss

We believe the current rates of stillbirth, miscarriage and preterm birth are too high. Our work aims to reduce the number of babies who die during pregnancy and labour by funding relevant, high quality research in our research centres, developing evidence based practice in our clinics and increasing public understanding of healthy behaviours and care through our pregnancy information service.

Stillbirth rate

Rate of stillbirths per 1000 births in England, Wales and Scotland

The rate of stillbirths for each year has been calculated as the number of stillbirths per 1000 live births and stillbirths. The figures for stillbirths are stillbirths registered in England, Wales and Scotland, including those to people not normally resident in these areas.

The rate of stillbirths in England, Wales and Scotland has fallen from 5.8 stillbirths per 1000 births in 1994 to 4.4 stillbirths in 2016.

Our stillbirth rate is currently 24th out of 49 high-income countries and corresponds to 9 babies being stillborn in the UK every day. 

Miscarriage ratio

Ratio of miscarriages per 100 births in England and Scotland

The Miscarriage ratio is calculated as the number of miscarriages per 100 total births. The year plotted is the year ending March 31st.

The ratio of miscarriages to 100 births has fallen from 13.4 in the year ending 2001 to 9.4 in the year ending 2017. 

Miscarriage data is an underestimate of overall rates as many miscarriages will not be reported to health services because they have happened at home.

Preterm birth rate

Rate of preterm births per 100 births with known gestational age in England and Scotland

The number of preterm births (babies with gestational length of less than 37 weeks) per 100 births with known gestational age has been plotted against time. The year plotted is the year ending 31st March. In 2017, the preterm birth rate was 8.2 babies per 100 births with known gestational age which corresponds to 46,766 babies being born before 37 weeks.

The variability in the preterm birth rate is partially explained by the increase in babies with known gestational age as our knowledge of dating and recording gestational age has increased.

If stillbirth and miscarriage rates fall, one possible outcome might be that preterm birth rates will increase as babies may be identified as being unwell earlier and therefore the best possible outcome for the baby may be for it to be delivered prematurely.

Sources

Read about the impact of our work on baby loss

  • Tommy's information services impact logo

    Impact of Tommy's information services

    Tommy's evidence-based, high quality, comprehensive pregnancy information informs and empowers pregnant women to make healthy behaviour and lifestyle choices, ultimately leading to a reduction in the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth.

  • Tommy's research centres impact logo

    Impact of Tommy's research centres

    Tommy's research centres produce high quality, relevant research to provide improved evidence needed for new understanding, new treatments and new and updated guidelines. This research will lead to the number of babies who die during pregnancy or birth decreasing.

  • Tommy's clinic impact logo

    Impact of Tommy's clinics

    Our NHS supported specialist clinics deliver a high quality care environment, enabling improved recruitment to clinical trials and faster implementation of research findings.

Was this information useful?

Yes No