CDC Activities

CDC’s work focuses on tracking the occurrence of stillbirth and understanding the preventable causes of stillbirth in order to determine who is at risk and why. Learn more about CDC’s efforts below.

Researchers working to find answers about the causes of stillbirth

CDC works to track the occurrence of stillbirth, identify the causes and find opportunities to prevent their occurrence. Understanding the potential causes of stillbirth can lead to recommendations, policies, and services to help prevent them. Three groups at CDC work together to learn more about the loss of a baby due to stillbirth:

Looking Back, Moving Forward

While we continue to learn more about stillbirth, much work remains and a number of challenges should be addressed in future activities. For example, stillbirth is not often viewed as a public health issue, so increased awareness is key. Additionally, there is a need for increased training for healthcare providers in the use of stillbirth evaluation guidelines, providing access to grief counseling, and discussing with families why a stillborn evaluation is important.

Moving forward, CDC is committed to learning more about stillbirth by:

  • Developing and sharing guidelines for conducting stillbirth tracking within a birth defects tracking program
  • Continuing to improve methods for classifying stillbirth to improve tracking and reporting.
  • Engaging healthcare providers to raise awareness and provide education to families on the importance of stillbirth evaluation
  • Continuing research activities to identify risk factors for stillbirth. This knowledge will be valuable in developing prevention strategies for stillbirth.
  • Continuing to analyze existing data to improve knowledge of causes and factors that put pregnancies at risk for stillbirth.

Improving our ability to track and prevent stillbirth is an important public health issue that requires continued commitment. Expanding tracking and research efforts holds great promise in identifying new causes of stillbirth and developing ways to prevent them.

Page last reviewed: August 29, 2019