When a child dies at or before birth

Dealing with the loss of a child at or before birth is a difficult time for any parent or close family member.

We are testing the Alpha stage of the 'End of life' guide. If you find this guide useful or would like to report an error, please leave us a comment below.

After the loss of your baby

If your baby's gestational age was more than 20 weeks, you are legally required to register your baby with the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Forms should be provided to you.

If the baby's gestational age was under 20 weeks, Births, Deaths and Marriages offers a recognition certificate for babies not able to be formally registered.

You may be asked to consider a post mortem examination of your baby. The doctor, nurse or midwife will discuss the benefits with you. The post mortem coordinator of your hospital should be available to answer any questions.

For funeral arrangements, the chaplain or pastoral care representative at your hospital and social worker can provide you with information and discuss options.

Support services

Grief support agencies can provide you and other family members with 24 hour, seven day bereavement support after the unexpected loss of a pregnancy or baby. Contact SANDS on 1300 072 637 or Red Nose Grief and Loss on 1300 308 307.

Information and support to help you deal with your loss:

Government services:

Other services:


Page reviewed 10 May 2020