This OHE Briefing illustrates some of the difficulties inherent in making accurate international and international comparisons with regard to perinatal mortality, the most sensitive widely collected measure of fetal and maternal wellbeing. It also discusses some of the phenomena which cause, or are closely associated with, danger to life and/or health before and shortly after birth. Its objective is to help generate a balanced view of this country’s problems and achievements in this field of health care and to highlight those areas where better information or identifiable service improvements are needed.