Are Stillbirth Rates Improving? Apparently Not…

Stillbirth Rates?

Did you know,

There are more than 1,000 stillbirths each year and out of a sample of 85, researchers found failures in the pregnancy care of half of them.

Could better pregnancy medical care save more babies’ lives? A new article, published via The Guardian indicates so. A team of experts reviewed a sample of 85 stillbirths. The outcome? There were failures in care with half of them. Granted this is not a huge sample, but half!

The team found that warning signs were missed. Half the pregnant women whose babies died had told medical staff they were worried that the baby in the womb was no longer moving. In half of those cases, either there was no investigation, the baby’s heart rate was monitored but misinterpreted or staff in the maternity unit failed to respond correctly to warning signs.

With all the modern technology and knowledge, you would think that there have been massive improvements in the care of pregnant mothers and baby.

Sometimes babies die because of failures of care. Yet lessons about what went wrong are too often overlooked and opportunities to improve care are missed. Standardised review would help those who organise and deliver health care to learn from mistakes and make sure they implement best practice. ~Sands

Sands, Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity, was involved with the review and says that there was a similar review 15 years ago and not much has changed.

“One in three babies who are stillborn die at term, a time when they are likely to have survived outside the womb had they been safely delivered earlier,” said Judith Abela, the acting chief executive.

“It’s alarming that 15 years after a similar report, there are still critical gaps in antenatal care, suggesting we have learnt very little in the interim. This report confirms the concerns of hundreds of parents Sands supports every year: that not enough is being done to prevent babies from dying.

What can we do to improve this?

Sands has some advice for a safer pregnancy:

Although not all stillbirths can be prevented there are ways of ensuring you are as healthy as is possible in pregnancy.

Most pregnancies and births are problem free but every baby is to some degree at risk and stillbirths are more frequent among the following groups:

  • Twin or multiple pregnancies
  • Older mothers i.e. aged 35 years+
  • Teenage mothers
  • Women with specific medical conditions, especially diabetes, hypertension and thrombophilia
  • Women with a past obstetric history of complications
  • Women who smoke
  • Women who are obese i.e. a body mass index (BMI) over 30
  • Women living in areas of social deprivation
  • Women from some ethnic minority groups

If you are a mother-to-be, we offer the following advice but stress that if you have any concerns at all you should immediately talk to your GP or midwife. Don’t ever feel you should not bother them. Don’t sleep on it – act on it. ~Sands

For more, visit the original post: Better care could save hundreds of babies from stillbirth, says report

And, Sands Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity

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