The Safer Baby Bundle eLearning Resources will be launched today by Health Minister Greg Hunt, have the specific goal of reducing the rate of stillbirth from 28 weeks’ gestation by 20 per cent over the next three years. This is expected to help address around 200 preventable and tragic stillbirths each year.

Six babies are stillborn every day in Australia - or 2,170 per year - and little progress has been made in reducing stillbirth rates over the last 20 years. This is despite research showing up to 30 percent of stillbirths could be prevented through better health care.

The Safer Baby Bundle eLearning Resources will help in this fight by focussing on five key areas where evidence shows improved health care outcomes can save lives.

The five components of the Safer Baby Bundle are:

  • Detection and management of impaired fetal growth
  • Awareness and management of decreased fetal movement
  • Advising women on safe sleeping positions
  • Supporting women to stop smoking
  • Better timing of birth for women with risk factors

The Safe Baby Bundle also emphasises the need for maternity services to address other important aspects of best practice care, including supporting women to access to same midwife throughout their pregnancy, and auditing every stillbirth so parents get the best information possible on why their baby died, and maternity services reduce risks for future families. The bundle is based on a similar initiative in the United Kingdom, which has been effective in reducing stillbirth rates.