SANDS - (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death) Charity, support anyone affected by the death of a baby and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies lives

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The hospital will be able to give you further information on;


  • What happens next.

  • What your choices are for birth.

  • How you will give birth - natural/Caesarean section.

  • What happens when your baby is born - spending time with your baby.

  • What happens after your baby is born - funeral arrangements/registering the birth. 

  • What tests/investigations are done. 

  • What follow up you will have.

  • What support you will receive. 

Being told that your baby has died before birth is utterly devastating. The heartbreaking grief experienced by the parents, close family and friends, is extremely distressing. 1 in every 200 pregnancies, a baby dies before birth and in nearly half of all stillbirths the causes of death is unknown. 


Anyone who has experienced a stillbirth will be given considerable support by your bereavement midwife, the midwives and doctors at your hospital. However, it can be hard to take in all the information given which is why information packs are given to take home with you when you are discharged from the hospital.

At the bottom of the page you will find our recommended charity that focuses on researching into why Stillbirths happen and how they can prevent it. They also offer support and a wider range of information on Stillbirth. 

What is Stillbirth?

After 24 weeks of pregnancy, Stillbirth is a death of baby before, during or shortly after birth. (a baby born without signs of life).

What are the symptoms of Stillbirth? 

Sadly many women who suffer a stillbirth do not have any symptoms or notice any changes in their pregnancy, and usually there is nothing that can be done to save their baby.

However we have listed a few things that you should look out for during your pregnancy

  • Your baby’s movements

Your baby’s movements are a sign of their wellbeing. However there is no set pattern of what is normal for an unborn baby as every baby is different, so it is important to get to know their individual pattern. It is a myth that a baby’s movement slow down leading up to the due date. 

Count the Kicks explain: “2 out of 3 mums who have a stillbirth say they noticed their baby’s movements slow down beforehand. It is therefore important that all cases of reduced movement are reported to your midwife or maternity unit.”

  • Leaking fluid

Leaking of any fluid from your vagina during your pregnancy, you should contact the hospital immediately and go in to be monitored.

This could be your waters breaking early or a sign of infection of the womb.

  • Vaginal discharge

If you experience any discharge from your vagina which is smelly, and any colour other than white you should contact the hospital, midwife or GP straight away, as it may be a sign of an intrauterine infection. Infections can weaken the bag of membranes around the baby, cause an infection inside the womb or make your waters break.

When should you call the midwife?

Count the kicks have published the warning signs every pregnant woman should take notice of.

They advise that you contact your hospital, midwife or GP  immediately if:


  • You cant feel the baby moving or the baby’s movements have

    changed in any way.

  • You feel numbness in your limbs.

  • Your hands or/and feet become painfully swollen.

  • It’s painful to pass urine.

  • You have a temperature or fever.

  • You have any pain including headaches.

  • You become itchy or develop a rash.

  • You have blurred vision or you see colours or patches.

  • You have any vaginal bleeding.

  • You are feeling faint or lightheaded.

  • Your experiencing fluid loss.

  • You have feel uneasy or sense something is wrong.


If your unsure at any point please call your midwife, go to the hospital or contact your local GP. You can never be too careful.

Why does Stillbirth happen?

It’s not always known why a baby dies before or during birth. When you are discharged from the hospital after having a stillborn baby, you and your partner will be offered tests to try to find out why your baby died. 

Some of the causes can include - 

  • Pre-eclampsia

  • Early separation of the placenta 

  • Infection

  • Diabetes

  • Abnormal development of the baby

What to do if you think there is something wrong?

It Is vital you go straight to the hospital, please attend your nearest Accident and Emergency department.

Our local hospitals are -

St Helier Hospital

Wrythe Lane




Epsom General Hospital

Dorking Road,



KT18 7EG

Recommended Charity -