Some mothers-to-be might want to look into private maternity services after new figures have revealed that stillbirths are still a problem.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 2.6 million stillbirths recorded around the world in 2009.

Of these, an estimated 66 per cent occurred in just ten countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the United Republic of Tanzania.

Indeed, 98 per cent were recorded in low and middle-income countries, but one in every 320 babies in high-income countries is stillborn.

WHO's assistant director-general for family and community health, Dr Flavia Bustreo, commented: "Many stillbirths are invisible because they go unrecorded, and are not seen as a major public health problem.

"Yet, it is a heartbreaking loss for women and families. We need to acknowledge these losses and do everything we can to prevent them. Stillbirths need to be part of the maternal, newborn and child health agenda."

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