Other Names:
Stillbirth mortality
Still-born babies
Antenatal foetal death

If a new born baby shows no signs of life it is termed a still-birth and as such does not enter into neonatal or infant mortality statistics. The pregnancy must have been at least 28 weeks of gestation, otherwise it is termed an abortion. Still-birth can be either fresh or macerated. Macerated still-births are foetuses which have died in the womb and have remained there long enough to start decomposing. A macerated still-birth indicates that death occurred a considerable time before onset of labour, due to antenatal causes and maternal disorders (diabetes mellitus, anaemia, hypertension, placental insufficiency, syphilis, herpes). The great majority of still-births occur during labour, due to complications of labour and prematurity. Other factors include congenital malformations, ante-partum haemorrhage, eclampsia, and maternal illness (malaria, tuberculosis, chronic renal disease).


Statistics are not readily available, especially in developing countries. One study showed 30 per 1000 births in Africa.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST