The Challenge of Reducing Stillbirths

Today, Melinda Gates wrote an article for the Huffington Post about breaking the silence around stillbirths — defined as the death of a baby at 28 weeks gestation or more. Maternal, neonatal and child health is one of the key priorities established by the Gates Foundation.

In her article, Gates highlights the ongoing and underexposed issue of women giving birth to stillborn babies. About 2.6 million stillbirths occur each year, and nearly 50% occur after the mother has gone into labor. According to Gates, we can and should do a better job of providing care for these mothers and their unborn children.

Gates points to the Lancet Stillbirth Series, a new collection of reports and findings made by scientists and experts in the field of maternal and neonatal care.

Take a minute and check out their website for further reading on the challenge of reducing stillbirths around the world — it’s a key issue that hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Let’s hope that, thanks people like Melinda Gates, that can change.

For more information about the Lancet's feature, watch Lancet Editor in Chief Richard Horton as he speaks to the Global Health Channel about the publication’s new series on stillbirths, and why attracting media attention to the issue is so important.

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