Sadly, the death of a baby is not a rare tragedy: around 15 babies died before, during or soon after birth every day in the UK in 2015

Stillbirths

In the UK in 2015, one in every 227 births was a stillbirth, and there were 3,434 stillbirths in total. That’s around nine babies stillborn every day

Around one-third of stillbirths happen after 37 weeks of pregnancy

Stillbirths account for more than half of the deaths of infants under one year in the UK.

Stillbirth rates remained largely unchanged from the late 1990s to 2011. Since then, the rate has declined and it is now at its lowest level since 1992. But more deaths could be prevented.

Neonatal deaths

In the UK in 2015, 1,652 babies died within the first week of their lives, and another 465 died within the following three weeks

The number of babies who die in the neonatal period (the first 28 days after birth) has dropped over the last decade, largely because of advances in medical knowledge and clinical care.

In 2015, one in 370 babies died in the first four weeks of life in the UK.

Definitions

A stillborn baby is one who has died before or during birth at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy.

A neonatal death happens in the first 28 days after birth. A death in the first seven days is called an early neonatal death.

Stillbirths and early neonatal deaths are sometimes referred to as perinatal deaths.

Sources

Office for National Statistics: death registrations summary data 2015. Available from: https://www.ons.gov.uk/file?uri=/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/datasets/deathregistrationssummarytablesenglandandwalesreferencetables/2015/deathsfirstrelease2015.xls

National Records of Scotland: vital events. Available from: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/general-publications/vital-events-reference-tables/2015/section-4-stillbirths-and-infant-deaths

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency: Registrar Annual General Report. Available from: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp99.htm

MBRRACE-UK Perinatal Mortality Surveillance Report: UK Perinatal Deaths for Births from January to December 2014. Available from: www.npeu.ox.ac.uk/downloads/files/mbrrace-uk/reports/MBRRACE-UK-PMS-Report-2014.pdf