is the delivery of a dead baby between the 20th week of pregnancy
and birth. A baby is stillborn in about 1 in 200 pregnancies.
Because many stillbirths occur in what appear to be normal
pregnancies, the parents-to-be are rarely prepared for this
devastating outcome. If you're pregnant, the idea of stillbirth
may be too painful for you to contemplate. Hence it is advisable
that you be aware of the complications, causes of stillbirth
and the kinds of decisions and choices that parents are going
to have to make. While stillbirth is very traumatic emotionally,
most women have a healthy baby in their next pregnancy.
Reasons For Stillbirth:
of the reasons are birth defects, problems with the umbilical
cord or placenta, maternal conditions existing before
or developing during pregnancy, chromosomal abnormalities
and infection during pregnancy.
lifestyle choices may be responsible and might increase
your risk. Smoking, alcohol and use of illegal drugs have
all been implicated in stillbirth.
Obesity and history of a previous stillbirth are also
who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes
or high blood pressure, face an increased chance of stillbirth,
especially if these conditions are not well controlled.
· Women in their mid-30s or older women are more likely
to develop such conditions or to have placental problems
that may increase stillbirth risk.
pregnancy is more risky, especially for those under 15;
young women are more likely to experience placental problems
or high blood pressure.
Often, there are no physical symptoms or warnings of a stillbirth.
The following symptoms, however, could signal a problem:
Many women who experience vaginal bleeding successfully
carry their baby to term. But bleeding, especially during
the second half of your pregnancy, may indicate a problem.
So immediately consult your doctor if you experience bleeding.
Lack of foetal movement or a change in the normal activity
level of your baby. Keep a track of the babies movement
and incase you doubt that the baby has stopped moving
immediately rush to the doctor.
Persistent cramping or stabbing pains in the pelvis, back
or lower abdomen.
sign that the baby may have died is that you no longer
feel pregnant, and you may notice physical changes such
as your breasts becoming smaller.
Once it is known that a baby has died in the womb during pregnancy,
medical staff will arrange for the woman to have labour induced,
or for the baby to be born by Caesarean. Once it's been confirmed
that the baby has died, a decision needs to be made about
its birth. The options are to wait until labour starts naturally,
or to have labour induced, or for the baby to be born by Caesarean.
If the decision is to wait for natural labour then it may
take some time for labour to start naturally. Some parents
prefer to take this time so that they can begin the process
of coming to terms with the death, even though the waiting
can be very difficult. Others prefer to go in for caesarean
or induced labour because they think they can't cope with
the situation. Physically, though, it's better for the mother's
body to go through labour than to have a Caesarean, and many
women say that having the experience of labour helps them
to feel that they have done something for the baby. It is
after all the decision of the mother.