Care after stillbirth
Stillbirth, the death of a baby before birth, affects approximately 1 in 240 pregnancies in the UK. If babies that are stillborn before the legal definition (24 weeks) are included, this number is closer to 1 in 150 babies.
Most families embark on another pregnancy. Pregnancies after stillbirth have increased risk of medical complications, and parents also have to navigate complex and conflicting emotions.
The Rainbow Clinic, run by Professor Alex Heazell, was established in St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester in 2013 to specifically care for families having a child following a stillbirth. This model of care has now been rolled out in other hospitals in the UK. By centralising care for mothers who have had pregnancy losses, we have been able to improve outcomes for mothers and babies.
We also run a service for women who have a diagnosis of chronic histiocytic intervillositis, a rare condition which can cause recurrent fetal growth restriction and stillbirth. To find out more about our Tommy’s-funded stillbirth research, visit the Tommy’s Manchester Research Centre website.