Sillbirth Data Shows Improvement

I usually write my own posts for this mini "Midwifery Monday" series but this week, I was hoping to post some good news and instead, my good news became some other news I wanted to share. This post was written originally by Chris Binnie, who I met through Beyond Bea. He's a strong advocate for preventing stillbirths after his first son was stillborn at 38 weeks gestation. 

In 2015, the government set a target to reduce stillbirth and neonatal death by 50% by 2030 (later changed to 2025), with an interim target of a 20% reduction by 2020. Today, the Office for National Statistics published the stillbirth data for 2020. It shows how this progress is going measured against that interim target of 20%.

The 2020 stillbirth rate was 3.8 per 1000 live births, down from 5.1 per 1000 in 2010. That’s a 25% reduction, exceeding the 2020 target. This means 750 more babies arriving safely every year compared to a decade ago. 2 less babies are stillborn *Every Single Day* compared to just ten years ago. 

Every single baby that dies is a tragedy, there’s still a lot of work to do to meet the 2025 target, and the pace needs to accelerate if we’re going to hit that figure. But data shows we’re making significant progress despite our maternity service - and the individual staff working in it - being under unprecedented strain. It’s important to pause, just for a moment, and recognise the success they’re having in helping many more babies go home safely, before we all redouble our efforts.