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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 2015, 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
  • After decades of stagnation, the UK’s stillbirth rate is starting to fall. However it remains higher than other comparable countries and much more can and should be done.
  • Other high-income countries have achieved significant reductions in stillbirths in recent years, demonstrating more can be done to decrease the incidence of Stillbirth or Neonatal Death.
  • In 2015, one in every 370 babies born in the UK died in the first 4 weeks of life.2
  • There are well-documented risk factors for stillbirth, such as smoking and obesity.4 But babies at highest risk are those with poor growth that’s not picked up during pregnancy5. These pregnancies are thought to be ‘low risk’ when actually the baby is at risk.
  • One-third of stillborn babies – that’s around 1,200 babies every year – die after a full-term pregnancy (37 or more weeks).3
  • Every year, 500 babies die from an intrapartum-related event (that is, something that happened during labour).3 The 2010 West Midlands Confidential Enquiry into Intrapartum Related Deaths found evidence of substandard care in each of the 25 deaths it reviewed.6 In two-thirds of cases, different management would have reasonably been expected to have made a difference to the outcome.
  • In one in three stillbirths, the reason for the baby’s death is unclear and often described as ‘unexplained’.  This is largely because we don’t as yet fully understand the causes of stillbirth.  More research is needed!
  • One-third of stillborn babies – that’s around 1,200 babies every year – die at term (37–41 weeks’ gestation), just as the baby is ready to be born.
  • The death of a baby has a profoundly devastating effect and lasting impact on parents, wider family and friends.



  1. Office for National Statistics: death registrations summary data 2015. Available from:
  2. Office for National Statistics. Figures for England and Wales are from ONS first release data death registrations, Table 4. Available from
  3. Perinatal Mortality Report 2009, Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries 2011; available from, last accessed 10 March 2015Flenady V, Koopmans L, Philippa Middleton P et al.
  4. Major risk factors for stillbirth in high-income countries: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet 2011;377:1331-40.
  5. Gardosi J, Madurasinghe V,Williams M et al. Maternal and fetal risk factors for stillbirth: population based study. BMJ2013;346:f108
  6. West Midlands Perinatal Institute. Confidential Enquiry into Intrapartum Related Deaths. Perinatal Institute for Maternal and Child Health: 2010. Available from…, last accessed 10 March 2015


The Lily Mae Foundation have a number of people available for interview or to speak at seminars and events.  We can also put you in touch with key medical experts who specialise in stillbirth and neonatal death.

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

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

Ryan Jackson (Managing Director)

Tel: 07853 969073 / 01676 535716

Email: r[email protected]


Amy Jackson (Operations Manager)

Tel: 07853 914849 / 01676 535716

Email: a[email protected]