Summary: In 1987, a computerized obstetric database was set up at the Port Moresby General Hospital. Between 1987 and 1992, 27,117 births took place. The mean haemoglobin value amongst the 83% of women in whom a haemoglobin value was tested was 10.0 ± 1.7 g/dL. High stillbirth rates (94 per 1,000) were associated with a haemoglobin value < 6 g/dL. The stillbirth rate was slightly lower (14 per 1,000) in woman whose lowest haemoglobin value was in the range 10.0–10.9 g/dL than in those with a haemoglobin value ≤11 g/dL (18 per 1,000). The stillbirth rate was increased in women with haemoglobin values ≤ 14.0 g/dL. With respect to low birth‐weight (< 2,500 g), the rates were also higher when the haemoglobin value was above 14.0 g/dL. The reason for these findings is not apparent and may be due to the impact of an uncharacterized confounding variable rather than the haemoglobin value.