Pathologists are faced with a variety of problems when considering placental tissue in cases of stillbirth. It is recognized that there are changes which occur following fetal demise and which can complicate the assessment and may coexist with other morphological changes. It is recognized that up to 25% of stillbirths may have a recognizable abnormality causing fetal demise. A systematic review of placental tissue allows many of these disorders to be identified. This review considers macroscopic and microscopic features of placental pathology in stillbirth together with clinicopathological correlation. Stillbirth definitions, general aspects of macroscopic assessment of placentas, placental changes after fetal demise, and some recognizable causes of fetal demise are considered.