The Age features pandemic stillbirth research

Maternity hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne saw an increase in stillbirths in Victoria during the first year of the pandemic, raising concerns that disrupted and reduced access to maternity services during lockdowns may have contributed to the change.

Graph plotting adjusted stillbirth rate over time, showing a noticeable increase during the lockdown period in Melbourne in 2020. The average or background stillbirth rate is about 0.5%, during the lockdown this increased to about 1-1.1%.

Pictured: The CoMaND study showed an increase in stillbirths during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

Associate Professor Lisa Hui and Dr Nisha Khot from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Dr Ines Rio from the Department of General Practice were interviewed by The Age about the disruptions to maternity care and the possible impacts on mothers and babies.

The Collaborative Maternity and Newborn Dashboard (CoMaND) for the COVID-19 pandemic received state-wide media coverage with The Age’s feature on the increase in stillbirths during the 2020 pandemic lockdown in Melbourne, which you can read here.