Stillbirths

Why they matter

J. Frederik Frøen, Joanne Cacciatore, Elizabeth M. McClure, Oluwafemi Kuti, Abdul Hakeem Jokhio, Monir Islam, Jeremy Shiffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this first paper of The Lancet's Stillbirths Series we explore the present status of stillbirths in the world - from global health policy to a survey of community perceptions in 135 countries. Our findings highlight the need for a strong call for action. In times of global focus on motherhood, the mother's own aspiration of a liveborn baby is not recognised on the world's health agenda. Millions of deaths are not counted; stillbirths are not in the Global Burden of Disease, nor in disability-adjusted life-years lost, and they are not part of the UN Millennium Development Goals. The grief of mothers might be aggravated by social stigma, blame, and marginalisation in regions where most deaths occur. Most stillborn babies are disposed of without any recognition or ritual, such as naming, funeral rites, or the mother holding or dressing the baby. Beliefs in the mother's sins and evil spirits as causes of stillbirth are rife, and stillbirth is widely believed to be a natural selection of babies never meant to live. Stillbirth prevention is closely linked with prevention of maternal and neonatal deaths. Knowledge of causes and feasible solutions for prevention is key to health professionals' priorities, to which this Stillbirths Series paper aims to contribute.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1366
Number of pages14
JournalThe Lancet
Volume377
Issue number9774
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 16 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Stillbirth
Mothers
Funeral Rites
Social Marginalization
Social Stigma
Health Priorities
Ceremonial Behavior
Maternal Death
Grief
Quality-Adjusted Life Years
United Nations
Genetic Selection
Bandages
Health Policy
Global Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Frøen, J. F., Cacciatore, J., McClure, E. M., Kuti, O., Jokhio, A. H., Islam, M., & Shiffman, J. (2011). Stillbirths: Why they matter. The Lancet, 377(9774), 1353-1366. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62232-5

Stillbirths : Why they matter. / Frøen, J. Frederik; Cacciatore, Joanne; McClure, Elizabeth M.; Kuti, Oluwafemi; Jokhio, Abdul Hakeem; Islam, Monir; Shiffman, Jeremy.

In: The Lancet, Vol. 377, No. 9774, 16.04.2011, p. 1353-1366.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frøen, JF, Cacciatore, J, McClure, EM, Kuti, O, Jokhio, AH, Islam, M & Shiffman, J 2011, 'Stillbirths: Why they matter', The Lancet, vol. 377, no. 9774, pp. 1353-1366. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62232-5
Frøen JF, Cacciatore J, McClure EM, Kuti O, Jokhio AH, Islam M et al. Stillbirths: Why they matter. The Lancet. 2011 Apr 16;377(9774):1353-1366. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(10)62232-5
Frøen, J. Frederik ; Cacciatore, Joanne ; McClure, Elizabeth M. ; Kuti, Oluwafemi ; Jokhio, Abdul Hakeem ; Islam, Monir ; Shiffman, Jeremy. / Stillbirths : Why they matter. In: The Lancet. 2011 ; Vol. 377, No. 9774. pp. 1353-1366.
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