UK stillbirth rate is now ‘A national scandal’

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The United Kingdom doesn’t rank well among the European countries that have a big rate of stillbirths. At a rate of 3.5 deaths registered per 1,000 births, the country ranks on the 32nd position, alongside Belarus and Estonia.

Britain has 11 cases of stillborn babies per day. This makes it really hard for mothers, not to mention for the health authorities who have been unable to change the situation for the past decade.

According to Neal Long, the chief executive at ‘Sands’, stillborns are referred to as a “national scandal”. ‘Sands’ is one of the best known charities that take action against stillbirths and neonatal death cases.

Mr. Long also said:

Many mums in the UK have increasingly complex pregnancies. This coupled with already stretched maternity services, entering an era of budget cuts, could spell disaster for many more babies and their families.

The most frequent causes that lead to stillbirths consist of congenital defects or complications deriving from infections. Age is another factor that needs to be taken into consideration. If mothers are above the age of 35 or overweight they can give birth to unhealthy babies. Alcohol and drugs represent another contributive factor to heart malformation in babies, and sometimes even rare diseases.

UK is still situated far from the number of stillbirths registered in other countries. In Pakistan for example, there are 47 cases of stillbirths registered for at 1,000 births. Other countries such as Nigeria, China, India and Bangladesh are almost sharing the same situation.

Brits should definitely try to take as example countries like Australia, Norway, and Holland, where the number of stillbirths has been reduced to what could seem normal.

Professor Gordon Smith from Cambridge University believes there are “many potential explanations” why women who are living in the Midlands show a greater risk of stillbirth than the ones living in the South. He said:

Realistically, what we can do is make sure everybody knows that these older women are at increased risk. The women themselves should know and the people looking after them should know.

Mothers are encouraged to carry a child until the age of 35, and under no circumstances to continue smoking or drinking.

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Robert Wiltshire

Robert is a part-time writer and enjoys screen writing when his schedule allows. A keen writer, Robert graduated in 2002 from Warwick University with a 2:1 in Creative Writing. Hobbies include; Mountain Biking, Keeping Fit and Cooking

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