The new Safer Baby initiative uses the latest research to provide pregnant women with information about how to reduce their risk of stillbirth.
Stillbirth is a tragedy for parents and families and a major unaddressed public health problem. It has enormous impacts on parents and their wider family and friends, as well as on health care providers. The information below aims to help women understand the risk factors in five key areas where it is known that stillbirth can be prevented.
There are ways to reduce your risk of stillbirth and have a safer pregnancy, based on the latest research and clinical best practice.
Smoking is one of the main causes of stillbirth. Quitting at any time during your pregnancy reduces the risk of harm to your baby. However, quitting as early as you can means a better start in life for your baby. Free help with quitting is available.
Your baby’s growth will be regularly measured during pregnancy to check they are growing at a healthy rate. If your baby shows signs of not growing well enough, your maternity health care professional will monitor the growth of your baby closely and discuss with you how to manage this.
It is important to get to know the pattern of your baby’s movements. If you are concerned about your baby’s movements, particularly from 28 weeks, contact your midwife or doctor immediately. Do not wait for your next checkup.
Going-to-sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy can reduce your risk of stillbirth, compared with going-to-sleep on your back. Either left or right side is equally safe.
The aim is to make every pregnancy and birth as safe as possible for you and your baby. It is important to speak with your maternity healthcare professional about your individual risk of stillbirth and how this may influence the timing of birth.
We understand the COVID-19 pandemic is worrying for pregnant women and their families.
Pregnant women have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant women, and their babies also have a higher risk of stillbirth and of being born prematurely. Pregnant women are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination and should be routinely offered vaccination with the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at any stage of pregnancy. These vaccines are safe for pregnant women and they reduce the risks for women and their babies.
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