Report Finds ‘Alarming’ Rise In Number Of Stillbirths & Newborn Baby Deaths In UK

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newborn baby

The number of stillbirths and babies dying in their first few weeks of life has risen in the UK according to an annual report from researchers at Oxford and Leicester universities.

The Perinatal Mortality Surveillance report from MBRRACE-UK said 698,909 babies were born at 24 weeks or over in the UK from January 1 to December 31 2021, an increase of 1.5% on 2020, reversing an eight-year-long trend of “consistent reduction”.

Charities say the report paints ‘an alarming picture of baby loss’.

During the period, 3.54 per 1,000 babies were stillborn, up from 3.33 per 1,000 births in 2020.

Neonatal deaths, those babies who die within a month, also rose to 1.65 from 1.53

The Mail Online reports: Rates increased among all gestational age groups, with a 12% jump in stillbirths among babies born between 28 and 31 weeks.

Babies born before 37 weeks accounted for 75% of stillbirths and late foetal losses, as well as 73% of neonatal deaths.

The most common causes of stillbirth were placental, congenital anomalies, cord and infection, with more than half (51.7%) falling into these groups.

But there was a “substantial proportion” of stillbirths where the cause of death was classified as unknown.

Some 77% of neonatal deaths were down to congenital anomalies, extreme prematurity, neurological, cardio-respiratory and infection.

In 2019, the Government committed to halving the rate of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries occurring during birth by 2025.

But Robert Wilson, head of the Sands and Tommy’s Joint Policy Unit, said the MBRRACE-UK report “makes it clear that inaction is costing babies’ lives”.

“It paints an alarming picture of baby loss throughout the UK and the situation described in this report is simply unacceptable.

“This requires a comprehensive response from all levels of government that matches the urgency and scale of the issue.”

Niamh Harris
About Niamh Harris 15008 Articles
I am an alternative health practitioner interested in helping others reach their maximum potential.