Reducing stillbirth safely in Australia

Roshan Selvaratnam, Mary‐Ann Davey and Euan M Wallace
Med J Aust 2020; 213 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50658
Published online: 22 June 2020

Caution is needed so that population‐level reductions in the stillbirth rate are not offset by iatrogenic harm to healthy babies

The federal Minister for Health the Honourable Greg Hunt MP recently launched the Safer Baby Bundle — a national stillbirth program that aims to reduce stillbirth in Australia by 20% by 2023.1 The program is one of the responses to recommendations arising from the federal Senate's Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education.2 It draws from similar bundles of care in the United Kingdom that have been associated with successful reductions in stillbirth.3,4 Undoubtedly, these whole‐of‐population level programs are important and effective. However, because late pregnancy stillbirth can be prevented simply by delivering all babies early, they have the potential for harm.

  • Roshan Selvaratnam1,2
  • Mary‐Ann Davey1
  • Euan M Wallace1,2

  • 1 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Safer Care Victoria, Melbourne, VIC



Euan Wallace is the recipient of a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Program Grant (APP1113902). Roshan Selvaratnam has been granted a PhD Scholarship Top‐up from the NHMRC Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence (APP1116640).

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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