- » Overview
- » When a baby dies before labour begins
- » How you might feel
- » Talk to someone
- » Grief and children
- » Telling your family and friends
- » Memories and keepsakes
- » A ceremony for your baby
- » Deciding about a post mortem
- » Deciding about a funeral
- » Leaving hospital - going home
- » Taking your baby home
- » Postnatal check-up
- » Certificates and registration
- » Rights and benefits
- » Getting a copy of your medical notes
- » Mainly for fathers
- » Information for grandparents
- » For family and friends
- » Returning to work
- » Another pregnancy?
- » Support news
- » Personal experiences
- » Other support links
If and when to register
If your baby was born dead before 24 completed weeks of pregnancy
Your baby’s birth cannot be registered at a register office. However, many hospitals give parents a certificate of birth as a keepsake to commemorate their baby. If your hospital does not do this, you could provide a certificate and ask them to sign it.
You can download a two versions of a blank certificate here:
Or phone or email the Sands Helpline and ask them to send you a certificate by post.
If you want to arrange your baby’s funeral yourself, you need a form from the hospital to give to the funeral director. This confirms that the baby was born before the “age of viability” (that is, before 24 completed weeks) and showed no signs of life.
If your baby was stillborn after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy
You need to register your baby’s stillbirth with the registrar of births, marriages and deaths within 6 weeks (3 weeks in Scotland, 3 months in Northern Ireland).
If your baby was born alive at any stage of pregnancy and then died
You need to register your baby’s death within 5 working days (8 working days in Scotland). You can register the birth at the same time.