UK among 'worst rates of stillbirth in western Europe'

The UK has among the worst rates of stillbirth in western Europe, with 4,000 babies dying before they are born, according to a charity. MAMA Academy said 1,000 babies could be saved per year if wards adopted their Growth Assessment Protocol.

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Restricted growth during pregnancy 'puts foetus at risk'

Babies who have their growth restricted in the womb are seven times more likely to not survive pregnancy, according to a maternity care charity.

The Perinatal Institute also found:

  • Between 10-15% of all babies born are growth restricted and the majority of these go undetected.
  • In 2012, the number of stillbirths dropped for the first time in 20 years in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, and the North East due to growth assessment training.
  • In the West Midlands the stillbirth rate dropped by 22%.


UK stillbirth rates 'among worst in western Europe'

The UK is amongst the worst countries for stillbirth in Western Europe, with 4,000 babies dying before they are born every year, according to a pregnancy charity.

The size of the unborn child can indicate if it will be stillborn, doctors said. Credit: PA

MAMA Academy is urging midwives and other healthcare staff to sign up to its Growth Assessment Protocol (GAP), which it says could save the lives of 1000 babies every year.

GAP would encourage all maternity wards to monitor the size of the foetus, as reduction in growth rate in the womb is the main indicator a baby is at risk of stillbirth.

Around 40% of stillbirths are related to fetal growth restriction, which is usually caused by the placenta failing to function properly.

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