6 Stillborn Babies Born Every Day in Australia
New data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistic say that devastatingly 1,718 babies were born stillborn last year. CEO of Stillborn Foundation Australia Victoria Bowring told ABC “We know there is up to a third of stillbirths annually that are preventable”.
The foundation says that this figure may be confronting for people to grasp, however the rate has not reduced in over two decades, with 6 stillbirths every day in Australia.
Their website says that for every one SIDS death, there are 35 stillbirths, with 40% of these having no known cause.
They go on to say that a huge amount of investment is needed for vital research to understand why such a large number of babies are dying; in particularly those that are born at or close to term with no known cause of death.
The Stillborn Foundation are again urging the Australian Government and private sectors to invest; time, research and funding into what they refer to as a national health crisis.
“What we need is funding to rollout education programs [and] national health campaigns just to educate not only pregnant woman but health clinicians and other professionals in the system.” Says the CEO.
Ms Bowring says that there are simple ways to ensure a safe and healthy preganancy and delivery and that simple steps parents to be could do to try and improve their chances of having a healthy baby.
“We know that sleeping on your left side is a possible prevention for stillbirth, we know that baby’s movement is vital to monitoring the health of your baby and any changes in those movement patterns need to be reported to a hospital, your midwife, your obstetrician as soon as you notice the change,” Ms Bowring said.
Former New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally is the patron of the foundation and a mother of a stillborn baby herself. Ms Keneally had a stillbirth in 1999, a daughter named Caroline. She says that there isn’t nearly enough awareness around stillbirths in Australia and told the ABC “I do think it’s an incredibly hard thing to talk about, stillbirth, it’s hard for parents to talk about because it is such an extraordinary tragedy, it is devastatingly sad,” she said.
For more information on Stillbirth or to donate go to the Stillborn Foundation Australia.