Campaign aims to reduce risk of stillbirth in Argyll and Bute

Tiam Lithgow and Stephanie Plant are backing the campaign to reduce stillbirths.

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Pregnant women in Argyll and Bute will benefit from a new public health awareness campaign launched by the Scottish Government, offering important information on ways to reduce the risk of stillbirth.

The campaign, which is the first of its kind in Scotland, will be rolled out nationwide and advises expectant mums of ‘three ways to lower the risk of stillbirth’; go to sleep on your side, don’t smoke and monitor your baby’s movements.

Stillbirth can be a challenging topic to talk about and knowledge around reducing the risk is limited. This is why the Scottish Government is encouraging discussion with expectant mums in Argyll and Bute around the campaign messages.

Jeane Freeman, Health Secretary, said: ‘Stillbirth and the loss of a baby is a tragedy. We need to break the silence around stillbirth and challenge the belief that it is just something that can happen to pregnant women.

‘In Scotland, four babies a week are stillborn.

‘In 2018, Scotland had the lowest stillbirth rates on record which was 3.7 stillbirths per 1,000 live births. Although the rate of stillbirth in Scotland has reduced significantly in recent years, there is still more that we can do.

‘While we sometimes don’t know the cause of stillbirth, this campaign aims to reduce Scotland’s stillbirth rate even further by providing expectant mums with an understanding of how they can help reduce the risk of it happening.’

The campaign has been developed by the Scottish Government-led Stillbirth Group, in partnership with NHS Scotland, MCQIC and stillbirth charities, Sands UK, Held in Our Hearts (formerly Sands Lothians) and SiMBA.

Chief midwifery officer and deputy chief nursing officer Ann Holmes, said: ‘In our line of work we are often asked by expectant mums what they can do to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy, so it’s great that three key behaviours have been identified that have the potential to reduce stillbirth.

‘It is important that pregnant women receive consistent advice about going to sleep on their side, not smoking and monitoring their baby’s movements during pregnancy.’

For more information on reducing the risk of stillbirth and the campaign, speak to your midwife, visit parentclub.scot or read the NHS pregnancy guide, Ready, Steady, Baby!