Key Facts:

  • 17 babies die every day in the UK (11 are stillbirths, 6 are neonatal deaths) over 6,500 baby deaths a year - the equivalent of 16 jumbo jets crashing every year with no survivors.
  • Ten times more babies are stillborn than die of cot death every year in the UK.
  • The stillbirth rate has remained almost unchanged for the past 10 years. (CMACE)
  • The UK has one of the highest stillbirth rates when compared to similar high income countries. (The Lancet Medical JournalStillbirth Series, April 2011: Britain ranked 33rd out of 35 similar countries, ie second from bottom).
  • 1 in every 200 babies are stillborn in the UK
  • 1 in every 300 babies born in the UK die in the first four weeks of life
  • For over half of all stilllbirths the cause remains unexplained. These babies are born perfectly formed, with no clear reason why they died. We need to understand what is causing these deaths.
  • The majority of unexplained stillbirths are in pregnancies that were previously considered low risk. We need better ways to identify babies who are at risk.
  • 1 in 5 stillborn babies is much smaller than they should be, yet we have no good method to detect these babies in the womb and act to deliver them before they die.
  • Stillbirth is when a baby is born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy
  • Neonatal death is when a baby is born alive but dies within the first 28 days of life

To read Sands' latest report about stillbirth and neonatal death, published in January 2012, please click here.

Sands contact details:


Tel: 020 7436 5881