If you had a miscarriage, stillbirth or your baby died after birth
Information on what to do and where to get emotional support if you had a miscarriage, stillbirth or your baby died after birth.
Loss of a child
For a miscarriage before 20 weeks of pregnancy, you can choose to apply for a recognition of early pregnancy loss certificate.
The birth of a baby has to be registered if the loss was after 20 weeks of pregnancy or weighing more than 400 grams at birth.
The records will show the baby as stillborn, so the death does not need to be registered.
If a baby died soon after being born, both the birth and the death has to be registered.
Learn more about what to do if your baby was stillborn or died soon after birth at the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
The loss of a baby at any time during pregnancy or after the birth can be a difficult time for parents and those close to them.
Everybody grieves differently, and there is no right or wrong way to feel.
There are organisations that support families affected by miscarriage, stillbirth or the loss of a child, including:
- Red Nose on 1300 308 307 for a 24-hour grief and loss support line
- Sands on 1300 072 637 for 24-hour support
- Stillbirth Foundation Australia for information and resources
- The Pink Elephants Support Network for miscarriage information and support.
You may be eligible for compassionate leave or unpaid parental leave if you've had a stillbirth or miscarriage.
Employees can take 2 days of compassionate leave if:
- a baby in their immediate family was stillborn, or
- they have had a miscarriage.
Full and part-time employees can take paid compassionate leave. Casual employees can take unpaid leave.
Learn more about compassionate leave for stillbirths and miscarriages at the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Unpaid parental leave
You may be able to take up to 12 months unpaid parental leave if you experience:
- a stillbirth, or
- the death of a child during the first 24 months of life.
You may choose to reduce or cancel any unpaid parental leave and return to work. This needs to be done in writing.
If the leave has not started, you can cancel it without notice. If the leave has already started, you will need to give at least 4 weeks' notice.
Returning to work is your choice. Your workplace cannot direct you to return to work or cancel your unpaid parental leave in this situation.
You cannot take unpaid parental leave if the leave is cancelled before it starts. In this case, you may be able to take:
- paid personal leave
- unpaid special maternity leave.
Find out more about leave entitlements after a stillbirth or the death of a newborn at the Fair Work Ombudsman.
- you’re eligible for the payment
- your baby was stillborn or died after birth.
You may be able to get a one-off Stillborn Baby Payment if:
- your baby was stillborn
- you’re not getting Parental Leave Pay for that baby.