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Stillborn rate is too high


12:00am 19th April 2011

Britain has one of the worst rates of stillbirth in the developed world.

A study shows 11 babies a day are born dead in the UK.

That's more than in almost any other wealthy nation.   

Every year more than 4 thousand babies are born dead.

That's a figure which is largly unchanged in 10 years.

Minster FM have spoken to a York family directly effected by the issue Jane and Vernon.

Picture below, Baby Bluebell:



Did you know that 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth EVERYDAY in this country?

Thats more than 6,000 every year.

This statistic has seen little improvement over the last 10 years, even though medical technology has improved in many areas during this time.

It is a fact that my husband & I know only too well following the birth and death of our much awaited daughter Bluebell Emily Mary on the 14th of June 2010.

Before our tragedy we did not realise how common stillbirths were and how many families are tragically affected everyday, many deaths are unexplainable and most at full term, perfect, beautiful babies, like our daughter.
The doctors and midwives give lots of information and numerous tests are offered to ensure your baby does not have Downs Syndrome for example, but nobody tells you your baby is twice likely to be stillborn than have Downs, Why?

Launched by SANDS (The Stillborn and Neonatal Death charity) these statistics are totally unacceptable and are committed to have a clear acknowledgement of the seriousness and extent of the problem and a real, collaborative commitment to address the individual tragedies as a matter of urgency and priority.   

As many of you will be aware we have supported many local charities over the last few years, although all of course are worthy of as much support as possible we have decided to put all of our efforts into supporting SANDS charity, to help raise awareness of these unspoken tragedies with a view to reduce and prevent the number of families having to experience the unexplainable heartbreak we are experiencing.

Many of us have suffered grief through loss of close family or friends, but nothing prepares you for the loss of a child, nobody should have to organise their own child's funeral.

To anyone who has not experienced the death of a baby it can be all too easy to underestimate the significance of this event.

But the death of a baby whether before their birth or in the days immediately afterwards, is no less a death than the death of any other child.

A child who dies very early in life is no less loved & cherished.

But while grief and pain for the parents and family is no less intense and enduring, the death of a baby is different to any other bereavement.

When a baby dies before he or she has lived for long, or at all, outside the womb, parents are left with a terrible sense of emptiness.

There is no object for their love and care.

It means the end of hopes and plans and the loss of a future.

Couples whose first baby dies lose their identity as parents those with children lose a new family member.

It is hard to overstate the levels of trauma and devastation bereaved families experience.  

In my opinion it is best explained as a cot death whilst the baby is still inside the mother.

Some people liked a stillbirth to a miscarriage, although a miscarriage is a terrible tragedy and more common than stillborn babies, as someone who has experienced both the pain and grief of having a stillborn baby bares no comparison.

I remember reading about a couple who had to live through the tragedy of loosing a baby in the first few months of life and a stillborn baby, they described that the stillborn experience was worse to cope with than their newborn baby dying because they at least had the opportunity to look after their new baby and hear her cry and see her smile. In these days of technological and medical advances nobody should have to live through either.

But all too often these feelings go unrecognised by the wider community.

Despite better understanding of the significance of a baby's death among health professionals, it is still considered taboo in some way beyond the doors of the hospital, the death that no one likes to mention.

Families often suffer in silence without understanding or adequate support.

SANDS, the neonatal death charity was founded in 1978 by a small group of bereaved parents devastated by the death of their babies, and the total lack of acknowledgement and understanding of the significance and impact of loss.

Over the last 30 years SANDS has supported many thousands of families, including us, we have found great comfort from their website and support networks, benefiting from the use of a special room away from the labour ward in York hospital to deliver our daughter, to reading the many books published by parents who have experienced the loss of a child.

Any future pregnancies are petrifying the innocence of looking forward and planning your new little arrival are taken away by fear of the unknown but the constant need for a baby, your baby force you to continue putting yourself through this torture.

You know that you will never ever forget your lost child and you will never be able to replace them but the need to fill your empty, aching arms never goes away.   

From the 11th of August 2010,(the date that should have been our daughters birthday & would have been Jane's grandmothers birthday) we have made a donation of £1 for every sale we have made in our shop, and updated our website, of which the funds go directly to SANDS we have raised over half of our £5,000 target so far in 8 months.

If you would like to help or follow our progress visit here and
Click here for a link on our charity page.

Further information about the excellent work SANDS do is on their website is here and the cause that we have specifically supported is here

England has one of the worst stillbirth rates in the developed world.

Today, another 17 babies will die. How much longer must this go on?

A Big Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far, helping us with our fundraising for SANDS in memory of our daughter Bluebell, since 11.8.10 to Sunday 10.04.11 we have raised £2,521 online 50% of our £5,000 target please donate or follow our progress by clicking here

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