Sadly some pregnancies don’t end in the birth of a live baby. If this happens after 24 weeks of pregnancy it’s called a stillbirth.
In Jersey the stillbirth rate is 3 in every 1000 births (0.003%). Although rare, when they do happen, the loss is devastating for the parents and can be very difficult to come to terms with.
Time with your baby
After a stillbirth many parents want to see and hold their baby. It’s completely up to you whether you want to do this. The Maternity Unit has special cots called cold cots or cuddle cots. The cots are kept at a low temperature and allow your baby to stay with you for some time.
There is a family room on Maternity Unit where you will be supported by midwives and obstetricians.
Finding the cause of stillbirth
A doctor will discuss the options available to try and find out the cause of your baby's death, including whether or not you want your baby to have a post-mortem. A post-mortem is an examination of your baby’s body and it can provide more information about why your baby died.
Post-mortems are carried out in the UK. It may take up to 12 weeks to receive the results. You will be given a follow up appointment with your obstetrician when the investigation results are available.
Registering a stillbirth
By law, stillborn babies have to be formally registered. You don't have to go to the registrar's office, instead the registrar will visit you personally in hospital to complete all the relevant forms with you.
Losing a baby is devastating and everyone grieves differently. If you feel like you'd like some extra support to help you during this difficult time the charity SANDs (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) offers support through a helpline (+44 (0) 808 164 3332), online forum and bereavement support app. You can find more information on how they can support you on the
Jersey Hospice also offers a community bereavement service to help people come to terms with loss and support them through the grieving process.
Philip's Footprints is a local charity that offers support to parents who have lost a baby, through memory boxes, remembrance services and peer support.
Philip's Footprints website