Can a new action plan help prevent stillbirths in southern Sweden?

Can a new action plan help prevent stillbirths in southern Sweden?
The risk of stillbirths is higher than the Swedish average. Photo: Lise Åserud/TT
Sweden's most southerly county is to launch a stillbirth action plan after 71 babies were born dead in the county in 2018.
The risk of babies being stillborn in the county is a full 25 percent higher than in Stockholm County and well above the Swedish average. 
“That these regional differences exist points to the fact that it's possible to do something about it, and it feels good that we are doing that now,” Sven Oredsson, the county medical advisor who has proposed the plan, told Sweden's state broadcaster SVT
At a meeting on Wednesday evening, the healthcare committee on Skåne's regional council is expected to appoint an expert group to assess ways to reduce the number of stillborn children in the country. 
The county council is expected to approve the idea to draw up the plan on June 27th, with the detailed plan to be published in October. 
Oredsson said that the the risk of stillbirth was higher for babies born to older women, overweight women, women who smoke, and women born in the Middle East or Africa. 
He said it was unclear exactly why children born to women who themselves had been born in the Middle East or Africa were more likely to be stillborn. 
“It might be because you haven't had a great reception when you felt that something was wrong, so you don't get in touch [with the health authorities] again,” Oredsson said. “That might also be part of it, and it's something we'll be looking at.” 
He stressed that with 16,000 children born in Skåne each year the risk of stillbirth was still not that high. 
“You've got to bear in mind that the risk of anything happening is small,” he said. “But every time an accident like this happens is one time too many.” 

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