Doctors told the Brisbane mother the cause was a placental abruption; her placenta had separated from her uterine wall and cut off Sophie’s oxygen supply.
With doctors not knowing how it occurred, the grieving mother said she was left distraught and caught in a state of disbelief.
“You learn to compartmentalise it,” she said.
“You can have access to it anytime but certain dates such as her birthday open up that compartment of emotion.”
A study by the University of Queensland’s Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirths released last Friday found 60 per cent of stillbirths were recorded as “unexplained”.
The global review of stillbirth reporting and classification by researchers from the Mater Research Institute and UQ was conducted to look at ways to improve investigative procedures.
Stillbirth Centre for Research Excellence director Vicki Flenady said there was no systematic approach to compare cases of stillbirths.
“The CRE wants to work together with governments to get funding to train clinicians and implement guidelines in maternity hospitals” she said.
Professor Flenady said programs such as IMPROVE (Improving Perinatal Review and Outcomes Via Education), which aimed to address gaps of knowledge in front-line clinicians, could aid in research for future prevention of stillbirths.
Australia had the 15th lowest rate in the world, with 2.7 stillbirths per 1000 births at 28 weeks gestation or more, but trailed behind countries such as Iceland (1.3 per 1000), Finland (1.8), Japan (2.1) and New Zealand (2.3).