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Pregnancy & Birth

Australia's stillbirth rate has not dropped in two decades

TRIGGER WARNING: Infant loss and stillbirth.

By Rebel Wylie
Heartbreaking research has revealed that while fewer babies are being born stillborn later in pregnancy, six babies are still lost to stillbirth every day in Australia.
A report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on Thursday shed some light on the Australian stillbirth statistics which have largely remained constant in the past two decades.
According to the report there were 9.1 deaths per 1,000 births in 2015 and 2016.
Of those infant losses, approximately six babies are born sleeping every single day while two die in the neonatal period within the first 28 days after birth.
Perhaps proof of the fact that more research needs to be done in this are is that fact those figures have remained "relatively constant" since 1997, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Dr Fadwa Al-Yaman.
Research has found that while fewer babies are being born stillborn later in pregnancy, six Australian babies are still lost to stillbirth every day. Getty
There has been some improvement in some areas, however, with a decline in the number of neonatal deaths for babies who are born in the third trimester of pregnancy and those who die within their first month.
"Between 1997 and 2016, the rate of stillbirths among babies born in the third trimester of pregnancy fell from 3.4 to 2.1 per 1000 births," said Dr Al-Yaman said in Thursday's statement.
There was also a fall in the rates of loss amongst babies born to Indigenous women, dropping from 7.4 to 4.3.
"Whilst the rates of ... death of babies born to Indigenous women decreased, the rate was still higher compared to babies of non-Indigenous women," said Dr Al-Yaman.
WATCH: Tahyna Tozzi and Teresa Palmer get real about pregnancy loss. Continues after video ...
If you, or someone you know, needs to talk to someone, call Lifeline on 13 11 44. Or, if it is an emergency and you're experiencing a crisis, call 000 NOW.
For information and support around stillbirth, contact: Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Newborn Death Support (SANDS) on 1300 072 637.

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