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International Research

Research is the key to further understanding stillbirth. See below for some key international stillbirth statistics that we are advocating to replicate here in Australia.International Research

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Did you know:

  • Scotland saw a 20% drop in stillbirth in 4 years [iv]

    • This came after introduction to “Saving Babies Lives” program now adopted across the board in UK by NHS [v]

  • The Netherlands – greater than a 30% reduction in stillbirth in 5 years

    • The country has experienced a 6.8% reduction in stillbirths per annum since 2010. [vi]

    • The Netherlands adopted a “Count with Me” program which has aided this reduction and seen a continuation of reduced stillbirth rates [vii]

  • New Zealand – 30% drop in unexplained late term stillbirth (37-40 weeks) in 3 years [i]

    • This drop coincidences with midwives in NZ introducing sleep position advice to pregnant women during pregnancy [ii]

    • Three epidemiological studies [iii] have shown that when the pregnant mother sleeps on her back that this increases the risk of stillbirth. A follow up study in NZ, currently undergoing peer review, confirms the finding of these earlier studies.


[2] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australia’s mothers and babies 2014—in brief. Perinatal statistics series no. 32. Cat no. PER 87. Canberra: AIHW
[3] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2015). 3303.0 – Causes of Death, Australia, 2015
[4] Australia & New Zealand Fact Sheet (n.d), Australia & New Zealand Stillbirth Alliance
[5] RCOG Green Top Guideline No.57 page 2
[6] My Baby’s Movements Multi-Centre Trial (2014). ANZSA Research Consortium
[ii] “Sleeping On Left Side May Halve Risk Of Stillbirth”. The Conversation. N.p., 2011. Web.
[iii] 1) Stacey, T., et al., Association between maternal sleep practices and risk of late stillbirth: a case-control study. BMJ, 2011. 342: p. d3403.  2) Owusu JT, et al., Association of maternal sleep practices with pre-eclampsia, low birth weight, and stillbirth among Ghanaian women. Int J Gynaecol Obstet, 2013. 121(3): p. 261-5.  3) Gordon A, et al., Sleep position, fetal growth restriction, and late-pregnancy stillbirth: the Sydney stillbirth study. Obstet Gynecol. , 2015 125(2 ): p. 347-55
[iv] “‘Red Light’ Warnings Over Stillbirth Rates At Some Scots Hospitals”. N.p., 2016. Web.
[vi] “Sands Response To Figures On Child Mortality Out Today – Reduction In Stillbirth Rates Welcome But Much More Can Be Done”. Sands – Stillbirth and neonatal death charity. N.p., 2015. Web.
[vi] “Ending Preventable Stillbirths: Stillbirth Rates Have Fallen From 2000 To 2015 But There Are Still 2.6 Million Annual Deaths”. ScienceDaily. N.p., 2016. Web.
[vii] Flenady , V. et al. “Detection And Management Of Decreased Fetal Movements In Australia And New Zealand: A Survey Of Obstetric Practice”. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 49.4 (2009): 358-363. Web.