Friday, 15 April 2011
I read and heard these reports yesterday and I'm completely shocked. 11 babies a day die in the UK from stillbirth. 11 babies that will never be heard cry, never crawl, never take their first steps. And all in a developed nation that has health care cover that means that some of these deaths could be avoided. I was involved a few years ago in the SANDS (stillbirth and neonatal death charity) awareness drive 'Why17?' SANDS claim that 17 babies a day die in the UK from either stillbirth or neonatal death. That's such a shocking figure. Admittedly, I'm fortunate in that I had relatively straightfoward pregnancies and births even though Jack was premature and Emma was high risk for Downs Syndrome and I got to take home two healthy babies but I have a keen interest in this area knowing that my mum had 2 miscarraiges before I was concieved. Going further back, my maternal grandmother had 4 pregnancies of which my mum is the only surviving baby. One of my 'aunts' died at 6 days old and the other babies, a boy and an 'unknown', died at birth. Admittedly, healthcare has improved greatly since then, but that still means that somewhere along the line we're still letting 11 babies down. Like the first article stated, some of the risk factors can be avoided. Being overweight, smoking, drinking and being an older mum can all increase the risks. Better monitoring and awareness might make a difference too. I know that this seems simplistic because ultimately, we're never going to have a situation whereby stillbirth doesn't exist, but surely in a developed country such as ours, we shouldn't be near the top of the stillbirth 'league table. Shocked.