Stillbirth and Neonatal Death

In the majority of stillborns the cause is unknown; a stillborn baby is defined as a baby born after 24 weeks gestation that does not show any signs of life. Despite most stillbirths occurring without any warning or noted cause there are factors that can cause increased risk to the baby. Women with pre-existing medical conditions are at higher risk of having a stillbirth. Diabetes, obesity, multiple pregnancy and smoking are a few factors that can cause harm to the baby.

If problems are indentified during the pregnancy with either the woman or baby then delivery may be required in order to save the baby and reduce risks to the mother.

It is extremely important for any mother and baby to be regularly monitored throughout the pregnancy, the baby’s movements must be analysed as this could be one of the first signs that the baby is struggling. It is up to the midwives to do this and if the mother feels any loss of movement she should contact the hospital immediately. When stillbirth is suspected, an ultrasound scan should be conducted to confirm the death of the baby. Once confirmation has been made the mother will undergo counselling sessions and delivery is arranged for within a few days.

Neonatal death is the death of a baby within 28 days of its birth. Prematurity and birth defect are the most common causes of neonatal death.

Stillbirths and neonatal deaths can sometimes be due to the poor care during pregnancy or in the neonatal period. Failure to correctly diagnose symptoms or lack of treatment for certain symptons can result in the death of a baby. In these rare cases, stillbirths and neonatal deaths can be caused by negligence on the part of midwives or other obstetric staff, meaning compensation can be claimed.

The team of specialist medical negligence solicitors at Chadwick Lawrence is led by Tony May, a specialist birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitor with particular expertise in cerebral palsy claims, Erb’s palsy claims and other birth related injury compensation cases. He has an excellent record in high value and complex cases, many resulting in multi-million pound settlements. Tony has over 20 years experience in dealing with cases in which babies have been brain damaged or sustained other injuries as a result of negligent care and management before, during or following birth. He continues to represent many cerebral palsy children and young adults in medical negligence claims and after settlement he provides ongoing support as the Court of Protection Deputy for many of his cerebral palsy and brain damaged clients.

Tony can be contacted by email on or by telephone on 01484 519999. Alternatively, you could call our team on the freephone number below.

Our dedicated team of specialist clinical negligence, birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitors deal with claims countrywide and claims for stillborn or neonatal deaths. We are based at our Huddersfield office but can visit you in your home or in hospital if you are unable to attend at one of our West Yorkshire offices. If you believe that your child or a member of your family may have sustained a birth injury such as cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy as a result of medical negligence and/or negligence by a midwife, please contact our specialist medical negligence Legal Aid and no-win-no-fee lawyers for free legal advice.

Contact Chadwick Lawrence for free legal advice on FREE PHONE 0800 028 2969 or  

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