Bereaved parents are to urge Downing Street and health bosses to improve maternity care and help stop thousands of babies dying every year.
A petition with more than 1,200 signatures including those of singer Annie Lennox and Coronation Street actress Kym Marsh will call for better checks for expectant mothers.
Colette Murphy, one of the women behind the petition – which will also be delivered to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) – said more scans were needed as well as extra blood tests and checks for group B streptococcus, an infection that can blind and kill babies.
Mrs Murphy, a mother-of-three, lost her son in 1999 in week 37 of her pregnancy.
Currently, women only have two scans – at weeks 12 and 20 – unless they are classed as high risk. And tests for Strep B are not done unless there are signs of it – usually there are not.
Mrs Murphy said if a woman loses a baby then falls pregnant again she will be given “red carpet treatment”.
“It’s like going from a greasy spoon to the Ritz for dinner,” she said.
“It’s almost like scans on demand. The sad thing is it’s after you have had a baby die the red carpet treatment is rolled out. I feel sorry for the clinicians and midwives too because they want to do their best for you and it’s very difficult for them.”
Mrs Murphy said a lot of women only discover their baby’s cause of death after a post-mortem flags up a condition that might have been detected by more thorough testing.
Mrs Murphy, and co-organiser Jo Hart who lost a baby to Strep B, decided to take a stand as Nice prepared to review its guidelines on antenatal and maternity care. They said 17 babies die every day – almost 6,205 a year.