Who is at greater risk of stillbirth?

Some women have a higher chance of having a stillborn baby because of their own health issues such as smoking, diabetes, hypertension, being overweight or obese. Other things which may put you at an increased risk include being over 35 years of age, having had a previous stillbirth, and being over 41 weeks’ pregnant.

When the placenta isn’t working properly to give the baby the nutrition it needs, or the baby isn’t growing as expected, this can also put them at higher risk of stillbirth.

Recent research from around the world has also shown that women who go to sleep lying on their back (sometimes called the supine position) also have an increased risk of stillbirth in late-pregnancy.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women have a higher rate of stillbirth than the rest of the population. Some other ethnicities also have a higher rate of stillbirth, including women from the Pacific Islands, Africa and South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh).