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High Rates Of Stillbirth In Australia Remain Unchanged In Last Two Decades

Stillbirth is a devastating occurrence that has a severe impact on everyone involved. In Australia alone, six infants are born sleeping every day, according to 7News. This number hasn't changed much over the last few years, but the chances of a stillbirth happening later into pregnancy are decreasing, says a study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

According to the research, there were 9.1 deaths per 1,000 newborns in both 2015 and 2016. On top of those 6 stillbirths a day, statistics show that a further two die within the neonatal period, aka the first month of life. While the rates haven't worsened in the last two decades, it's still more than anyone wants it to be. Scientists were pleased to find some improvement in the rate of stillbirths happening in the third trimester, which fell from 3.4 to 2.1 out of 1,000 births. The rate of neonatal deaths has also fallen from 1.4 to 0.8.

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The CDC reports that stillbirth affects around 1% of all pregnancies, with around 24,000 infant fatalities in the United States. The United Kingdom reports an average of 1 in every 225 births, coming in at around 9 each day or 3,400 annually. These tragedies are more than just statistics, but the resounding loss of a member of a family. Dealing with stillbirth can be an incredibly long road for parents and anyone affected by the loss.

Stillbirth can happen for any number of reasons. Pregnancy and labour complications can play a part, as can problems with the placenta, birth defects, infections, issues with the umbilical cord and medical complications with mom. Researchers are constantly trying to discover what can be done to prevent this from happening, but that doesn't help families going through a loss.

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The NHS state that some mothers may continue to feel a baby kicking in their womb after the ordeal, or even hear a baby crying. They suggest that seeing and holding the baby, naming them and taking photographs can help the grieving and accepting process. Locks of hair, footprints and other keepsakes can help parents remember their little one as part of the family, which could aid acceptance in the long-run.

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