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Experts are worrying why Australia's stillbirth rate hasn't dropped in 30 years

Source: Uppercut RF

Almost 1,200 Australia babies were stillborn this year, and another 900 are predicted by the end of the year - and experts are worrying why Australia's stillbirth rate hasn't dropped in 30 years.

Stillborn babies are those who die after 20 weeks or more of pregnancy. Deaths that happen earlier in a pregnancy are classified as miscarriages. For a third of all stillbirth cases at full-term pregnancy, the cause of the baby's death remains unexplained.

Molli Sarafov is just one of the many mums going through this pain - she recently lost her son, Hunter.

"So, I had a really great pregnancy, everything was fine, and then my son ended up being stillborn at 38 weeks. I worked right up until 38 weeks, and finished work. And then it was over the weekend that I kind of felt like something is a bit off - so I ended up going in (to the doctor) and that's when they told me he'd already passed (died). Then I had to obviously give birth to him, and it was an emergency caesarean... and it was really hard."

Dealing with and overcoming the pain is an area that needs more research and support.

Co-CEO of support and research group Red Nose Australia, Jackie Mead, says it's something that's very hard to talk about.

"I think the normal ways that we grieve don't work with a baby. If we think about a wake (gathering after a funeral), we think about telling stories, about the relationship we had with that person. There might be a wry smile, and we make a joke. But with a baby, in particularly a loss during pregnancy, nobody has that relationship except for perhaps the parents and therefore we are all at a loss around what to say and how to deal with it. "

Despite 1 in 135 pregnancies that reach 20 weeks in Australia ending in stillbirth, researchers are still not clear on what causes these tragedies.

If this story raises concerns for you or anyone you know, you can contact Red Nose Grief and Loss Support Line on 1300 308 307 or Lifeline on 13 11 14

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