What are the causes of stillbirth?

The major causes of stillbirth in Australia are infection, maternal conditions, haemorrhage, spontaneous preterm birth, and congenital abnormality.

Around one-quarter of stillbirths remain unexplained (and up to half of stillbirths occur near full-term). The lack of a known cause adds to parents’ distress, as they struggle to understand “what went wrong” and “will it happen again” in a subsequent pregnancy.

Many stillbirths are not properly investigated, resulting in possible missed diagnoses. In up to one-third of stillbirths of stillbirths, the quality of care provided is a contributing factor to the death.