Debate on stillbirths

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The health minister joined with the health committee to call for the taboo on stillbirths to be broken on 8 May 2013.

Four stillbirths occur in Wales every week, and six out of 10 are unexplained.

Leading the debate, the chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Vaughan Gething, said that research is key to ensure fewer stillbirths in Wales.

"More than half of stillbirths are unexplained," he said.

"There is still too much we do not know about stillbirths.

"Our ignorance is due in large part to neglect of this area."

He went on to explain that the number of cot deaths had been reduced due to research into the causes, but that stillbirths rates remained the same in Wales as in the 1990s, as little or no research had been done in the area.

Mr Gething called on the government to join with Scottish research into the causes and commission its own.

Health Minister and former health committee chair Mark Drakeford said that the government had commissioned work in the field.

He also agreed with Mr Gething on the importance of training medical professionals to discuss how to identify the risks of stillbirth with prospective parents.

Although willing to discuss the possibilities of a child having Down's Syndrome and cot death, relatively few doctors and nurses discuss stillbirths with mothers-to-be.

The "taboo" of stillbirths needed to be addressed, he insisted, and the committee's inquiry and report, as well as the debate was a step in the right direction.

"Breaking the silence begins by ensuring that the issue of stillbirth is discussed between respective parents and those looking after their care, it need to be normalised."

The motion was agreed unopposed.

Darllenwch hwn yn Gymraeg

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