- 3 updates
A mum who lost her baby when she was almost 37 weeks pregnant said "lives were shattered" when the midwife could not find her child's heartbeat.
Heidi Eldridge lost her son Aidan in May 2009, which she described as "a complete tragedy" to Good Morning Britain.
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%.
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.
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.