Register a stillbirth

Register a stillbirth

Register a stillbirth, funeral arrangements and where to get advice and support.

We need to know about any baby that is stillborn within 42 days of the birth.  A baby is considered to be still born if they’re born after the 24th week of pregnancy, showing no signs of life or breathing post birth.

There is no charge for registering a stillbirth.

If the stillbirth was in Bristol you need to book an appointment and visit one of our Register Offices:

The Bristol Register Office

The Old Council House, Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1JG. 

The entrance is on Broad Street. You can find an access guide at DisabledGo.

Southmead Register Office

Southmead Hospital, Brunel Building, Bristol, BS10 5NB.

Book an appointment

Call us on 0117 922 2800. Opening times for the call centre are 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday. The call centre is closed on Wednesdays from 12midday to 1.30pm.

You’ll need the medical certificate of stillbirth. This is given to you by the midwife or doctor. If no midwife or doctor was present at the time of the stillbirth contact your GP.

Appointment times

You can book appointments at the Bristol Register Office at these times:

  • Monday: 9am to 4pm
  • Tuesday: 9am to 4pm
  • Wednesday: 10am to 4pm, 5pm to 7pm
  • Thursday: 9am to 4pm
  • Friday: 9am to 4pm
  • Saturday: 9am to 3pm

You can make appointments at Southmead Register Office from 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Who can register the stillbirth

If the baby’s parents are married, either the mother or father can register.

The mother can sign if:

  • the baby’s parents aren’t married

  • the father can’t be traced or is unknown

If both parents want the father’s name in the register:

  • both parents can sign the register together

  • the mother can sign and bring a ‘signed declaration’ from the father (the register office can explain how to do this).

If the father registers the stillbirth and the parents aren’t married, the mother will need to make a ‘signed declaration’ (the register office can explain how to do this).

If the child was conceived as a result of fertility treatment

These people can register the stillbirth:

  • the mother

  • the father, if he was married to the mother at the time of treatment

  • the second female parent if she was in a civil partnership with the mother at the time of treatment

If neither parent can attend

These people can register the stillbirth:

  • the occupier of the hospital or house where the stillbirth took place

  • someone who was present at the stillbirth

  • someone who is responsible for the stillborn child

  • the person who found the stillborn child, if the date and place of the stillbirth are unknown

Arranging a funeral

Stillborn babies must be buried or cremated.

The hospital where the stillbirth happened can arrange a funeral for you. Talk to your midwife about this.

If the stillbirth didn’t happen at a hospital, your local hospital can still arrange the funeral for you.

You can also choose to arrange a funeral yourself. See our arranging a funeral page and see the SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, website.

Advice and support

After a stillbirth, women may still be able to take maternity leave, get maternity pay and get maternity allowance. See Working jobs and pensions on the GOV.UK website.

Support for parents and other relatives of stillborn children is available from the SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society, website.

If you’re getting direct mail from companies selling baby related items you can stop them by registering your details on the Baby Mailing Preference Service website.