Each year, 9-15 October is Baby Loss Awareness Week. Throughout the week bereaved families and friends commemorate the all-too-brief lives of their babies. These are lives that were taken by a stillbirth or a neonatal death.

In the UK in 2014, sadly, 1,995 babies died within the neonatal period (the first 28 days). Many neonatal deaths are caused by a congenital disorder or premature birth. In the remainder of cases the cause is either unknown or due to potentially avoidable issues that originated in pregnancy or during labour.

Strikingly, in the UK in 2014, one in every 219 births was a stillbirth. This is around 10 babies a day. In a large number of stillbirths the baby appears to be completely healthy. Sometimes the mother has a condition that affects the pregnancy and sometimes there are major problems with the placenta or the umbilical cord. However for around one-third of babies, there is no clear cause for the death. Many of these deaths, when they occur at term, could be avoided with better care.

It is important for mothers to have access to information about stillbirths. This includes any information there is about the causes of a stillbirth, and an awareness of possible warning signs.

If you are a mother-to-be and you have any concerns at all you should immediately talk to your GP or midwife.

Freeths LLP is a national uk law firm with specialist knowledge in bringing stillbirth and neonatal death claims. We understand that a stillbirth or neonatal death is devastating for parents, family and friends. We support Baby Loss Awareness week to work towards reducing the number of stillbirths and neonatal deaths, and to help parents get the important answer to their crucial question of “why did my baby die?”

If you are concerned that a medical practictioner may have missed the signs that your pregnancy was not progressing normally, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free, confidential discussion about your options.