Stillbirth is a hidden public health crisis. Across Australia, around 2,200 babies are stillborn every year – that’s six every day. Red Nose, including Sands, is proud to launch a national stillbirth awareness and education campaign on February 1.
The campaign, named ‘Still Six Lives’, will provide advice and information about stillbirth prevention, increase awareness, provide targeted strategies to reduce stillbirth in high risk groups and encourage public conversations about stillbirth as a public health issue.
A culture of silence and stigma also exists around stillbirth. The impacts of this are profound: mothers and their partners are unaware of the part they can play in reducing the risk of stillbirth; parents are ill-prepared to deal with the emotional, social and financial consequences of stillbirth; and friends and family can lack empathy and understanding for parents of stillborn babies.
In contrast to the 85% reduction in incidences of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) over the past 30 years, Australia’s rate of stillbirths has remained largely unchanged for the past two decades. Not every stillbirth is preventable – but many are.
To address these issues, a consortium comprising Red Nose, Sands, Stillbirth Foundation, the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence, Community Hubs Australia and the University of Newcastle has teamed up with creative agency Icon to deliver a national public awareness and education campaign, called ‘Still Six Lives’, which launched on Monday 1 February.
The campaign hopes to assist in reducing stillbirth rates by 20% in three years, by addressing three key modifiable factors:
- Being aware of changes in fetal movements and seeking urgent medical help if movements change
- Encouraging maternal safe side sleeping after 28 weeks’ gestation
- Stopping smoking (and not being exposed to second-hand smoke) during pregnancy
For more information, please visit the campaign website: preventstillbirth.org.au