The Public Health Problem No One Wants To Talk AboutMargaret Hartmann4/14/11 4:56pmFiled to: medical mysteriesStillbirthsprenatal carePregnancyshutterstock29EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkNew research estimates that every year more than 2 million women around the world have stillborn babies, yet there's little research done on how to fix the problem. In America, while there's constant talk about protecting unborn babies, few people want to focus on the public health problems that lead to stillbirths.AdvertisementThe Associated Press reports that a new study funded by Save the Children, the World Health Organization, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that the number of stillbirths could range from 2.1 million to 3.8 million worldwide, but not enough data is collected to even know how big the problem is. Researchers came up with the figures using reported statistics from 33 countries and modeled estimates for the 160 other countries where no information was available. They believe there are more stillbirths than children killed by malaria and AIDS combined.Most stillbirths are happening in developing countries due to delivery complications, maternal infections, fetal growth problems, and congenital abnormalities. Yet some developed countries, including the United States, still have a troublingly high number of stillbirths, and the reason isn't clear. Two years ago, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists called for doctors to perform more autopsies on stillborn babies, but since few insurance plans cover this and doctors understandably don't want to pester grieving parents, not many take place.