Here you will find information about Sands, stillbirth and neonatal death including key facts, spokespeople and case study information

We hope that you find everything you need but if not, please contact our press office for more information or to request a Sands media pack.

Press Office

t:  020 3897 3449 (Monday to Friday) 
e: media@sands.org.uk  

Our press office hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am-5.30pm. 

Outside these hours please call 07587 925411 and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 


Key facts

Key facts and statistics: stillbirth and neonatal deaths

  • 15 babies a day are stillborn or die within 4 weeks of birth in the UK.1  
  • In 2016, one in every 227 babies delivered in the UK was stillborn (that is, the baby died during pregnancy or birth any time from 24 weeks of pregnancy onwards).2
  • In 2016, one in every 363 babies born in the UK died in the first 4 weeks of life.3 
  • After decades of stagnation, the UK’s stillbirth rate is now falling. However other similar countries’ stillbirth rates are falling much faster than ours4 - much more can and must be done.
  • Baby deaths need to fall much faster if the English government’s National Maternity Safety ambition to reduce deaths by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2025, is to be achieved.
  • There are well-documented risk factors for stillbirth, such as smoking and obesity. But less well known is the higher risk of stillbirth amongst babies with poor growth that’s not picked up during pregnancy.
  • Contrary to common perception, major congenital anomalies (birth defects) account for fewer than 10% of stillbirths. 
  • One-third of stillborn babies and babies who die neonatally– that’s around 1,200 babies every year – die after a full-term pregnancy (37 or more weeks) when a baby has the greatest chance of surviving.8
  • Every year, around 280 babies die at the end of pregnancy from an intrapartum-related event9 (that is, something that happened during labour) - deaths that should not happen. A recent enquiry found that 8 out of 10 of these deaths might have been prevented with better care.10 Meanwhile for one in four of these deaths a hospital review to learn lessons either didn’t take place or was of unacceptably poor quality.11
  • The death of a baby has a profound and lasting impact on parents and the wider family. We know this from the many voices we have heard and the thousands of families we have supported over the past four decades.

 
References

  1. Office for National Statistics (2018): Vital statistics: population and health reference tables, released Nov 2017
  2. Office for National Statistics (2018): Vital statistics: population and health reference tables, released Nov 2017
  3. Office for National Statistics (2018): Vital statistics: population and health reference tables, released Nov 2017
  4. Lancet Series: Ending preventable stillbirths. Flenady V et al. Lancet 2016; 387: 691-702
  5. Safer Maternity Care, The National Maternity Safety Strategy - Progress and Next Steps. Dept of Health 2017
  6. MBRRACE-UK 2015 Perinatal Confidential Enquiry: Term, singleton, normally-formed, antepartum stillbirth
  7. Perinatal Mortality Report 2009, Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries 2011; available from http://www.hqip.org.uk/assets/NCAPOP-Library/CMACE-Reports/35.-March-20…, last accessed 10 March 2015Flenady V, Koopmans L, Philippa Middleton P et al. 
  8. MBRRACE-UK Perinatal Mortality Surveillance Report 2018
  9. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Each Baby Counts: key messages from 2015. London: RCOG, 2016
  10. MBRRACE-UK 20167 Perinatal Confidential Enquiry: Term, singleton, intrapartum stillbirth and intrapartum-related neonatal death
  11. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Each Baby Counts: key messages from 2015. London: RCOG, 2016
     

For more general information on stillbirth and neonatal death please visit the Why babies die section of our site.


Case Studies

Stillbirth and neonatal death is a sensitive subject that many people can find difficult to discuss publically.  However, we do have parents and families across the country willing to share their experiences. 

If you are looking for a case study please contact our press office:

t:  020 3897 3449 (Monday to Friday) 
e: media@sands.org.uk  

Our press office hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am-5.30pm. 

Outside these hours please call 07587 925411 and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 


Spokespeople

We have a number of people within Sands and experts from affiliated organisations available for interview or to speak at seminars and events.

They speak on a wide range of issues relating to stillbirth and neonatal death including but not exclusive to the following:

  • Why babies die
  • Sands’ work, aims and achievements
  • What needs to be done to reduce stillbirth and neonatal death
  • Support services for parents, families, health professionals and others
  • Improving bereavement care
  • Research and prevention
  • Funding and fundraising

If you require a local or regional perspective, we have representatives who work with local Sands groups across the country.  We can also put you in touch with key medical experts who specialise in stillbirth and neonatal death.

If you would like to talk to one of our spokespeople, please contact our press office using the details above.