Defined as a foetus that was
at least 20 weeks gestation and that died before being born.

Criteria for a foetus is defined as
  • Weighed 400g or more when it issued from its mother; or
  • Delivered after the 20th week of pregnancy.

Thus, if there was breathing and/or a heart beat
after the delivery of a preterm infant, it is not covered under this section. It counts as a live-born. Standard cremation regulations apply.

  • Gestational age refers to number of weeks in utero, regardless of whether the foetus died weeks before delivery.
  • Stillbirths are registered as deaths using form HP4721 (Certificate of Stillbirth/Neonatal Death). They do NOT need a referee's permission to cremate.

Stillbirths do not require a Cremation Certificate from a Referee.
A midwife’s certificate can be issued if no doctor was present at the delivery

NB: if a still-born foetus was less than 20
th week of pregnancy and weighed less than 400g at birth, there are no burial or cremation regulations applicable to this scenario. Arrangements can be made privately with a crematorium. In these cases there will be no death or cremation certificates.