Midwives lack training in vital areas such as stillbirth, claims Janet Scott, the Research Manager at Sands (the Stillbirth and Neonatal deaths charity).
"There is a lack of awareness about ­stillbirth," says Ms Scott. "Even within the medical ­profession there are midwives who don't know how ­common stillbirth is and think nothing can be done to prevent it, when there are steps you can take. Some are not even taught about it during their training.

"We don't want to frighten women, but they should be given information about stillbirth, so they are aware of the risk ­factors. So many mothers tell us they thought it was something that stopped 50 years ago."

One of the known risk factors for stillbirth is obesity. According to the latest report by the ­Centre For Maternal And Child Enquiries, a quarter of mothers who had a stillbirth or whose baby died in their first 28 days were ­clinically obese. Other known risk factors include smoking, ­diabetes, being older than 40 and twin or multiple pregnancy.