Stop the stillbirth scandal

16 May 2011

Last week, Kelly Brook revealed she had tragically lost her baby at five months. As shock research reveals stillbirth is now 10 times more common than cot death, Grazia has joined forces with the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity, Sands, to demand change. And we need your help…

Sign our petition to call on the government to fund research to discover what is causing these babies to die, and to develop new ways of screening pregnancies to find out which babies are at risk of stillbirth.

Whether this is a scan in the third trimester or even the introduction of hand held scanners to detect babies movements, what is key is funding for this vital research to be carried out.

In the UK alone, 11 babies are stillborn every day. And shocking new research, published last month in The Lancet, found Britain is ranked 33 out of 35 countries in the developed world for stillbirth rates. Countries like Australia – which have invested heavily in research – have managed to bring their rates down. In the UK, they have remained the same for the past 10 years. This is simply not acceptable.

Grazia editor-in-chief Jane Bruton says, ‘It’s shocking how many women are going through the pain and devastation of stillbirth every day. We believe research needs to be urgently carried out to discover how improved screening for pregnant women could help reduce the UK’s rates... and save more women from the trauma of losing their child.’

Experts argue that a significant proportion of these deaths could be avoided if mothers received better care during pregnancy and labour. But current routine antenatal screening methods, measuring baby’s growth with a tape measure and scanning at 12 and 20 weeks, aren’t working when it comes to preventing many stillbirths.

Causes of stillbirth can be anything from an infection through to problems with the placenta.

Sands Chief executive Neal Long says ‘The support of Grazia readers will really make a huge difference.’

To sign the petition, click here: and thanks to our friends at Mumsnet for helping publicise the campaign


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