“Welcoming a baby into the world should be a time of great joy, but every day thousands of parents experience unbearable sadness because their babies are stillborn.”
In both low- and high-income settings, stillbirth rates are higher in rural areas than in urban areas. Socioeconomic status is also linked to greater incidence of stillbirth. For example, in Nepal, women of minority castes had stillbirth rates between 40 to 60% higher than women from upper-class castes.
Henrietta Fore, Unicef executive director, said the loss of babies during birth was not only a devastating tragedy for families, but often it was endured quietly, yet too frequently.
“Every 16 seconds, a mother somewhere will suffer the unspeakable tragedy of stillbirth. Beyond the loss of life, the psychological and financial costs for women, families and societies are severe and long-lasting,” she said.
“For many of these mothers, it simply didn’t have to be this way. A majority of stillbirths could have been prevented with high quality monitoring, proper antenatal care and a skilled birth attendant.”