Baby bereavement


We are very sorry that your baby has died. We understand that this is a very difficult time for you and our thoughts are with you and your family.

If your baby was stillborn

Before 24 weeks

If your baby was born before 24 weeks, without signs of life, unfortunately you cannot formally register them at the register office. However, many hospitals give parents a hospital certificate of birth to commemorate their baby.

Since February 2024, you can apply for a Baby Loss Certificate from the Department of Health and Social Care, free of charge, for babies born since 1 September 2018. Visit request a baby loss certificate on GOV.UK.

After 24 weeks

If your baby was born after 24 weeks and shows no sign of life, then this is called a stillbirth. You will need to register your baby’s stillbirth within six weeks in England and Wales.

The bereavement midwife team at the hospital will ensure that a copy of the Medical Certificate of Stillbirth has been scanned to the Register office before any appointment is made. They will advise of your contact details so we can contact you in the following few days. You won’t receive the medical certificate directly.

The registration process means you will be able to name your baby and receive a stillbirth certificate.

The baby needs to be registered in the town where the baby was born. The registration can be done by either parent if they were married to each other at the time of the stillbirth. If the parents were not married, and they wish to include the father's details, both parents should be present at the registration.

The bereavement midwives at Princess Anne Hospital will be able to assist in making an appointment to register the stillbirth. Alternatively, please email us on or use the contact form to contact us:


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At the registration you will need to provide the following information:

  • The date and place of the stillbirth
  • Any names the parent(s) wish to give the baby
  • Mother's full name and maiden name if applicable
  • Mother's place of birth, occupation and usual address
  • The father's full name, place of birth, occupation and usual address (if applicable)
  • It may be useful to bring your passports or similar documents to help confirm spellings of names
  • You will need to bring an interpreter with you to the appointment if you need help/support with your English

You will receive these documents after registration:

  • Certificate of registration - shows the date of the stillbirth and any names given to your baby
  • Stillbirth certificate - a certified copy of all the details held in the register

The form for the cremation or burial to proceed will be scanned directly to your chosen funeral directors (if appointed) or to the Midwife bereavement team at Princess Anne Hospital if they are dealing.

There is no charge for the registration or the certificates.

For further information on registering stillbirth and support agencies please visit the government's website.

If your baby was born and then died

If your baby was born alive and then dies you will need to go to a Register Office and register the baby’s birth and death (if the birth has not already been registered). The bereavement team at Princess Anne Hospital or Southampton General Hospital will be able to assist you in booking an appointment for you to register both events (if possible) at the same time and within the following five days.

If the baby’s death has been reported to the coroner, the process is slightly different. The register office, bereavement team at the hospital or coroner’s office will be able to advise you.

The Medical Examiner’s office (at the hospital) will ensure the Medical Certificate of Neonatal Death is scanned to the register office. The Registrar will keep the Medical Certificate and will give you a death certificate. (or birth and death certificate respectively). The registrar will issue the paperwork to allow the funeral to proceed and scan this directly to your chosen funeral directors or the hospital bereavement team.

There is no charge for the registration, and you will receive one certificate free of charge for your baby/child.

The funeral director or hospital will help you with making choices for the baby’s funeral and guide you through the process.