A series of papers in medical journal The Lancet reported that the UK’s stillbirth rate of 3.5 per 1,000 births ranks it 32 places below the best performer, Finland, in a league table of 193 countries.
Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser at NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, said:
“NCT supports and provides information for all parents and parents-to-be. We have huge sympathy for anyone suffering the tragic loss of a baby.
“To help reduce the incidence of stillbirth, every pregnant woman should have a named lead midwife throughout her antenatal care, and a contact number she can call if she has any anxieties. If a relationship of trust and respect is built up during pregnancy, the woman and her partner will find it easier to approach their midwife with any concerns, and the midwife will already be aware of the woman’s history and be able to respond effectively.
“NCT has called for one to one midwifery care to be provided in the birth setting chosen by the woman and her partner, as there is evidence this leads to improved outcomes. An experienced midwife remaining with the woman throughout labour is more able to react quickly to any signs or symptoms indicating there may be a problem.”