Stillbirth Awareness

Red Nose recognises that all pregnancies do not always end with a healthy baby. Red Nose supports families who have experienced the death of a baby during pregnancy and is working collaboratively with the stillbirth community to work on prevention.

Red Nose is a member of the international stillbirth and baby survival community through its membership of the International Stillbirth Alliance (ISA) and the International Society for the Study and Prevention of Perinatal and Infant Death (ISPID).

To discover international activities on stillbirth:

  1. Visit the ISA website here to access the Lancet Stillbirth Series with publication in 2011 and 2016.
  2. Visit the ISPID website here to access the Stillbirth Research Register.

Can stillbirth be prevented or the risks reduced?

In Australia over 50% of stillbirths that occur each year, in the last weeks of an otherwise healthy pregnancy, have no known cause or causes.

There are some steps a women can take to try to reduce the risk of a stillbirth and stay healthy during their pregnancy.

Factors to consider when planning a healthy pregnancy include:

  • Ensure you are a healthy weight range
  • Avoiding alcohol during pregnancy
  • If you smoke consider giving up before you fall pregnant. Remember it’s never too late to give up smoking.
  • Avoid drug-taking during your pregnancy

The Lancet has recently published a series on stillbirth and have identified some potential measures that can be taken to reduce the risk. These include:

  • Ensure you lead a healthy lifestyle
  • Take adequate folic acid prior to conception
  • Ensure you have an ultrasound in early pregnancy
  • Supplement a healthy diet with folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin supplements
  • Manage diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) prior to falling pregnant and during your pregnancy
  • Consider a planned caesarean for babies in the breech position
  • Consideration to Inducing post-term pregnancies

When planning a healthy pregnancy consult your GP and during your pregnancy your GP and Obstetrician.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by the death of a child, our bereavement support services are available by calling 1300 308 307, or visit for more information.

Last modified: 28/2/20