Practical Advice

While the emotions of a stillbirth are overpowering, paperwork and practical issues can seem insignificant. However when you are ready here is some advice on what you are entitled to

Registering the birth

If your baby was born after 24 weeks you will need to register the birth however you have 42 days in England and Wales or 21 days in Scotland. In Northern Ireland you are not required to register the birth although you can if you want to. This will need to be done within 3 months of the birth.

It is up to you whether you choose to name your baby and whether you choose to add this to the certificate. However if you choose not to name your baby on the certificate it cannot be added at a later date so consider this choice before registering the birth.

Maternity Leave

You’re entitled to a total of 52 weeks leave. You’ll get maternity pay while you’re off work for a maximum of 39 weeks (providing you’ve been working for long enough), in the form of Statutory Maternity Pay or your employer’s own scheme. You must claim within 28 days of the death.

Speak to your employer about maternity pay and leave

Free Prescriptions

You are entitled to 12 months free prescriptions and NHS dental treatment. You may have already received your exemption certificate however if not, ask your doctor or midwife for form FW8, which you fill in and they sign, then you’ll receive your Maternity Exemption certificate in the post.

They will also help you with the Healthy Start programme if you’ve been claiming vouchers. You won’t get any more vouchers but you can use any you’ve already received.

Other Benefits

If you’re not eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay, your Jobcentre Plus or Jobs and Benefits Office can help you make a claim for Maternity Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. Ask about the Sure Start Maternity Grant too – if you’re on a low income, you should still be eligible.

Mailing Lists

Continuing to receive emails, junk mail and mail shots relating to your baby can be extremely distressing following a stillbirth. While the most effective way to stop the mailings is to contact the individual companies direct this can be as traumatic and you may not remember which services you signed up for. You can however contact the Baby Mailing Preference Service (MPS)  where you can register online to stop or reduce baby-related mailings of samples, advertisements etc.

Address: DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS Email: bmps@dma.org.uk