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What Is Stillbirth? Causes, Signs, And How To Cope

Stillbirth: Causes, Signs & Support.

Ever since the very first positive pregnancy test, you’ve been picturing tiny fingers wrapped around yours, a coo in the night, and the overwhelming joy of welcoming a new life. Stillbirth, the loss of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy, is a heartbreaking topic that many find difficult to discuss. But understanding stillbirth, its causes, and the signs to watch for can empower expecting parents and create a space for open communication.

The Landscape of Stillbirth: How Common Is It?

While the thought of stillbirth is scary, it’s important to remember it’s not incredibly common. In the UK, statistics show that stillbirth rate in 2022 decreased to 4.0 stillbirths per 1,000. That means the vast majority of pregnancies end with a healthy baby in your arms. However, even one stillbirth is a tragedy, and every loss deserves to be acknowledged and grieved.

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Recognising the Silent Signs: What to Watch For

Unfortunately, stillbirth often doesn’t present with clear-cut symptoms. However, there are some signs that can act as a red flag, prompting you to reach out to your midwife or doctor right away. The most common indicator is a decrease in your baby’s movements. Every baby kicks and wiggles differently, but if you notice a significant change in their usual pattern – less movement, or no movement at all – don’t hesitate to get checked.

Other potential signs include vaginal bleeding or cramping, but it’s important to remember that these symptoms can also occur in healthy pregnancies. The key is to listen to your body and voice any concerns you might have to your healthcare provider.

Unveiling the Causes: Why Does Stillbirth Happen?

While the exact cause of stillbirth can sometimes remain a mystery, there are several known factors that can contribute:

Placental problems: 

The placenta acts as a lifeline for your baby, delivering oxygen and nutrients. Problems with the placenta, like placental abruption (when it separates from the womb) or malfunction, can deprive your baby of these essentials [NHS].

Umbilical cord issues:

 The umbilical cord is the highway connecting you and your baby. A knotted cord, a prolapsed cord (where it slips through the cervix), or restricted blood flow through the cord can all pose dangers [Cleveland Clinic].

Birth defects: 

Sometimes, a baby may have a serious congenital malformation that’s incompatible with life. While prenatal testing can sometimes detect these, it’s not always the case.


In some cases, infections like bacterial or viral infections can pass from mother to baby, leading to complications and potentially stillbirth [March of Dimes].

Pregnancy complications:

 Certain pre-existing health conditions in the mother, like uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, or blood clotting disorders, can increase the risk of stillbirth [Cleveland Clinic].

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Taking Care of Yourself After a Loss: Support and Resources

The emotional toll of a stillbirth is immense. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve, and it’s important to allow yourself to feel the full range of emotions – sadness, anger, confusion. Here are some resources that can offer support:

  • Tommy’s: A UK charity dedicated to funding research into miscarriage, premature birth, and stillbirth [Tommy’s]. They offer a wealth of information and support services for bereaved parents.
  • The Miscarriage Association: This organisation provides support and resources for anyone who has experienced pregnancy loss, including stillbirth [The Miscarriage Association].
  • Sands: Another UK charity that offers support to anyone affected by the death of a baby [Sands].

Remember, you’re not alone. There are many people who understand the pain of losing a baby, and there is help available.

Stillbirth claim

Making a Claim After a Stillbirth: Understanding Your Options with National Claims

The loss of a baby through stillbirth is an incredibly painful experience. While nothing can replace the unimaginable grief you’re facing, understanding your options can be a step towards healing. Here at National Claims, we specialise in supporting families who may have experienced a stillbirth due to medical negligence. How We Can Help

Free Consultation:

We understand the financial burden a stillbirth can bring. That’s why we offer a free consultation to discuss your situation in detail. Our team will listen compassionately to your story and assess the circumstances surrounding the loss. This initial step allows us to explore the possibility of a claim.

No Win, No Fee:

We understand the financial stress a loss can cause. That’s why we operate on a “No Win, No Fee” basis. You won’t face any upfront legal costs, and our fees are only payable if your claim is successful. This allows you to focus on healing while we fight for the compensation you deserve.

*Customers pay up to 25% (incl. VAT) of the amount recovered towards solicitor costs and if you cancel outside your cooling off period, you may be charged a fee.

Compassionate Support:

The emotional toll of stillbirth is immense. Our team recognises this and offers unwavering support throughout the entire process. We’ll be here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and provide a listening ear during this difficult time.


Stillbirth is a heartbreaking experience, but by understanding the causes, signs, and resources available, we can create a space for open communication and support for grieving parents. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help, and there is hope for healing after loss.

Contact us today to speak to one of our claims agents who will be able to help you get started on your claim.

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