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A stillbirth is when a baby is born dead after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy, this can also be known as intrauterine fetal demise 


Contact your midwife or doctor straightaway if you're pregnant and worried about your baby – for example, if you've noticed your baby moving less than usual.


Don't wait until the next day.


If your baby is moving less, it can be a sign that something's wrong and needs to be checked out which is why it's important to be aware of your baby's movements and know what's normal for your baby.

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There's no right or wrong way to respond after a stillbirth. Finding out your baby has died is devastating. You should have your options and support channels explained to you.

Your body may start producing breast milk, which can cause discomfort and distress. Medicines (dopamine agonists) can stop your breasts producing milk. Some prefer to let their milk supply dry up without medication. Your doctor or midwife can discuss your options with you.


You'll be offered tests to find the cause of the stillbirth. You don't need to have these, but the results may help to avoid problems in any future pregnancies. These range from; thyroid function tests, blood tests, genetic tests - a sample of the umbilical cord is tested to see if the baby had any problems such as Down's syndrome etc.

More in-depth tests can also be carried out on your baby to try to establish the cause of death or whether there are any conditions that might have contributed to it. This is called a post-mortem.

Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, provides support for anyone affected by the death of a baby.

You can call the Sands confidential helpline on

020 7436 5881

9.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday & also 6pm to 10pm Tuesday and Thursday

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