Due dateThe Lullaby Trust has welcomed the Government’s pledge to halve stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths, following an announcement by Jeremy Hunt.

The government has vowed to work with top consultants, midwives and other experts both across this country and internationally to reduce the number of stillbirths, neonatal deaths, maternal deaths and brain injuries that occur during or soon after birth by 20% by 2020 and 50% - or half – by 2030.

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, which provides specialist support for bereaved families and raises awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), said: “We strongly welcome the Government’s pledge to halve stillbirths, neonatal and maternal deaths. Our infant mortality rates are poor compared to most developed countries and we are pleased that the Government has recognised this.  However, we would like to see the Government set a similar target for babies over the age of one month.

“The numbers of post neonatal deaths are stubbornly high; nearly 300 babies die as a result of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) every year in the UK.  The Lullaby Trust believes this number could be halved by 2020.

“Smoking is now the biggest risk factor for SIDS. This is also a significant factor for stillbirth and neonatal death.  While money for equipment and training is welcome, this is only part of the solution. Maintaining funding for local public health services such as stop smoking services, antenatal and postnatal support for vulnerable families and safer sleep advice is also vital to reducing infant deaths."

The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families and raises awareness of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).