Addressing Critical Knowledge Gaps in Newborn Health

Stillbirths

Each year, an estimated 2.6 million stillbirths occur worldwide - more than 7,300 each day. Most of these deaths are preventable, yet stillbirths have been overlooked as a global public health crisis. As a result of social taboos, political neglect and health system and data gaps, millions of stillbirths go unreported each year. Stillbirths are not included in worldwide health targets and, until now, data for stillbirth rate were not routinely collected or collated by UN agencies.

Stillbirth refers to a baby born with no signs of life at or after 28 weeks (6 months) of pregnancy. The five most common causes of stillbirth are similar to those that also kill mothers and newborns - most of which can be prevented or treated with care provided by a trained health worker.