This is a good news story for everyone but me.
Turns out that in 2021, the government of Singapore passed a new law changing its definition of a stillborn child. Stillbirths had been defined as infants born dead at 28 weeks or later. The new law defined a stillbirth as “a child that issues from the child’s mother after the twenty-second week of pregnancy.”
Singapore had faced complaints that its definition was too narrow, especially with improvements in neonatal care that allow some infants born at 24 weeks or early to survive.
The law took effect on May 29, 2022.
You can see the immediate impact on the number of stillbirths reported.
SOURCE (Q2 2022, Table 10)
This error does not affect the birth trend I reported in yesterday’s article.
Live births in Singapore have fallen 10 percent year-over-year since March 2022, exactly nine months after most women were vaccinated, after rising year-over-year at the beginning 2022.
I simply did not check to see if the still definition might have changed. My error, and I apologize for it. Had I checked the second quarter rather than the first, the fact that stillbirths had risen months after births started falling would have been apparent, and I probably would have asked more questions. Instead I checked the first quarter and saw no year-over-year change between 2021 and 2022. The timing seemed to match perfectly, so I did not.
I am committed to being honest and transparent in my reporting and correcting errors when I make them. I apologize sincerely. I will leave the previous story up but note this correction on it.
The good news: stillbirths are NOT soaring. We should all take comfort in that.