Stillbirth: Causes, Definition, Risk Factors, Signs, Prevention

Giving birth to a stillborn child means the death of the fetus in the womb before delivery. There is no sign of life in the child born. It is entirely different from miscarriage and giving birth to a living child.

Miscarriage is very different from having a miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy and giving birth to a stillborn child. What week is stillbirth most common?

Death is the birth of a fetus at 20 to 28 weeks of gestation or later. But what is the reason? Why is this problem happening? Often the cause remains unknown. This problem occurs for various reasons.

What is stillbirth?

You may have heard in a few days that your unborn child has died, and it is not enough to say how much it is sad news. If the unborn child dies at 20 weeks or more after conception, it is called a stillbirth. Note that if the fetus dies before 20 weeks, it is called a miscarriage.

Of the approximately 160 pregnancies in the United States, an average of 1 stillbirth occurs. Most of the time, the baby dies in the womb before labor begins. However, in very few cases, stillbirths can result in stillbirths.

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What causes stillbirth?

What causes a baby to be stillborn? In medical science, the exact cause of stillbirth is still unknown. But even then, there are some reasons that physicians have figured out subject to discussion with patients. The child can die in the womb for various reasons.

The child dies in the womb due to the poor health of the mother, excessive diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. But these reasons remain unknown. For which you may face the same kind of problem again later. Let’s see what causes the child to die in the womb.

1. Mother’s weak health

What is Stillbirth The Complete Guide of Stillbirth 2020
causes of stillbirth in third trimester

One of the reasons for giving birth to a stillborn child is the poor health of the mother. The health of a mother is the key to giving birth to a healthy child. If the mother’s health is weak, the child does not get proper nutrition and, as a result, dies in the womb. Can a stillborn baby live?

2. Uncontrolled diabetes

What is Stillbirth The Complete Guide of Stillbirth 2020
causes of stillbirth in third trimester

Maternal uncontrolled diabetes is a significant cause of fetal death. Many mothers do not know that she has diabetes. As a result, diabetes remains unregulated, and the child may die in the womb.

3. If fetal growth is impaired

What is Stillbirth The Complete Guide of Stillbirth 2020
causes of stillbirth in third trimester

If fetal growth is reduced, the child dies in the womb. Due to weakness and lack of proper nutrition, the fetus does not grow and dies. risk of stillbirth by week

4. High blood pressure of the mother

What is Stillbirth The Complete Guide of Stillbirth 2020
what is the main cause of stillbirth

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes of death in children. Many mothers are not getting enough medicine due to excessive pressure. Again, even if someone takes medication, the pressure is not under control, as a result of which the child is dying in the womb. how common is stillbirth

5. Mother being over 35 years of age

What is Stillbirth The Complete Guide of Stillbirth 2020
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When a woman is more than 35 decades of age, her fertility is relatively low. So even if the mother is more than 35 years old, many times, the child may die in the womb. stillbirth symptoms

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6. If you take drugs during pregnancy

What is Stillbirth The Complete Guide of Stillbirth 2020
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Taking drugs during pregnancy, such as alcohol, nicotine, or any other harmful drug can affect the baby and even kill the baby in the womb. can stress cause stillbirth

7. During pregnancy, sleep on your back and side

What is Stillbirth The Complete Guide of Stillbirth 2020

If the mother sleeps on her back after 28 weeks of gestation, the baby is more likely to die in the womb. what causes stillbirth at full term

8. If thyroid

If the mother has thyroid problems, the child often dies in the womb. Elevated thyroid hormone interferes with fetal growth. As a result, the fetus dies in the womb. what is the most common cause of stillbirth

9. Physical injury

Injuries to the mother’s body during or around the abdomen affect the unborn child and can kill the child in the womb. causes of fresh stillbirth

10. Congenital problems

Fetal infant mortality can also be caused by anatomical defects, including chromosome and genetic abnormalities. Sometimes a fetus can die due to several congenital disabilities. causes of macerated stillbirth

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11. Infection

Maternal, infant and placental infections are one of the leading causes of fetal death. Mainly if the problem occurs within 28 weeks of conception, Fifth disease, Cytomegalovirus, Listeriosis, and Syphilis are some of the types of infections that cause fetal death. causes of stillbirth in late pregnancy

12. The accident caused by the umbilical cord

An accident caused by an umbilical cord can also kill the fetus, but this is very rare. When a knot is attached to this cord or is not well connected to the placenta, the baby may not get enough oxygen.

Many umbilical cord problems are also seen in healthy children. However, the chances of the baby dying just because of the umbilical cord problem are very low.

Other factors, such as complications, if the baby does not get the right amount of oxygen during delivery, or the mother’s trauma can also cause the fetus to die.

Also, if the baby’s pulse is ruptured in the womb, the mother’s blood group is positive, but if the father’s blood is negative, then the child in the womb is positive, but the child can often die in the womb. causes of stillbirth in india

How do you know if your baby dies during pregnancy?

If you reduce the movement of the baby in the abdomen, you have to understand that there is a problem. Usually do not understand on the first day.

Notice that before the child moves ten times a day, but suddenly it decreases six times, the next day three times, then it stops completely. That’s when you have to understand that something has happened to the child.

Usually, on the first day, when the movement is a little less, it is possible to save the child by going to the doctor and getting treatment immediately. leading cause of stillbirth

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How to check if the baby is dead or not?

A pregnant woman may notice in a hurry that her unborn baby is not moving at all, so if she seeks the help of a doctor, the doctor may inform her that her unborn child has died.

Also, if a pregnant woman never realizes that her unborn baby is dead or not moving, she may find out from the doctor during routine checkups.

The doctor listens to the baby’s heartbeat with a hand-held ultrasound device called a Doppler. If the ultrasound shows that the baby has no pulse, he or she may recommend an ultrasound.

This will allow the doctor to make sure that the baby’s heart has stopped beating and that the baby is now dead. Sometimes ultrasound also reveals precisely why the fetus has died.

The doctor can also examine the blood from the baby’s body to find out the possible cause of the baby’s death. An amniocentesis test can also be done to find out if the baby’s death was due to a chromosomal problem. most common cause of stillbirth in us

How is a stillborn baby delivery?Overview

Can a dead baby be delivered normally? Due to health reasons, it is necessary to give birth to a stillborn child without delay, but if there is no health problem, it may be a little late to see if the contraction starts on its own.

However, during this time of waiting, the doctor will pay close attention to you so that there is no infection in your womb or blood clots somewhere.

Most women wish to conceive through induction labor or artificial insemination when they find out that their unborn child has died, whether it is a general delivery procedure or a local and general anesthesia procedure. They do not want to wait for a dead child in the womb. causes of stillbirth uk

Normal delivery

If the woman’s cervix is ​​not enlarged for childbirth, the doctor may prescribe medication through her genitals to begin the process. She is then given an iv infusion of the hormone Oxytocin (Pitocin) to start contracting the uterus. Most women can give birth in this way in the normal process.

Dilation and evacuation (D&E)

If you are in the second trimester of pregnancy and have the opportunity to see an experienced doctor, you can remove the dead baby from the womb through the Dilation and Evacuation (D&E) process.

In the process, she may be given general anesthesia or iv sedation and local anesthesia when the doctor expands her cervix and removes the dead baby.

The following conditions should be considered if there is an opportunity to go through the two types of delivery described above:

D&E is the right decision if one wants to finish this delivery process through a quick process. Also, if an experienced doctor performs this procedure, the chances of any complications arising are meager. However, the risk is shallow in both types of delivery.

However, inducing labor is the right decision for women who want to go through the normal process and the experience of childbirth and see and hold the dead child with their hands, even if it is to alleviate the pain of childbirth.

Also, the inducing labor method makes it a little easier to find out the exact cause of death by examining the dead baby after childbirth. causes of stillbirth at 24 weeks

Also read: Body Mass Index | Do You Know About Your Ideal Weight & BMI?

What happens after a stillbirth?

Before going into the delivery process, parents and doctors should discuss exactly what will happen after the delivery of the dead child. If the parents want to see the dead child, hold his hand, and bury the child according to the religious method, they have to tell the doctor in advance.

The doctor can try to find out exactly what caused the baby to die. Initially, they will examine the placenta, it’s lining, and the umbilical cord immediately after delivery. They will then collect cells from it and test them in the lab, subject to parental permission, and perform various tests on the dead baby.

These can be difficult for parents who are grieving the loss of a child. Also, after so many tests, it may not be possible to know why the baby died in the womb.

On the other hand, parents can learn some vital information. For example, if the delivery of a stillborn child is not due to a genetic problem, then it is possible to be wary of the issues that occurred during the next pregnancy.

Or it may be that the problem is less likely to recur, as the current issue may be due to some kind of infection or a common congenital disability. It is essential to know this type of information before re-conceiving.

Doctors may tell parents what kind of information can be obtained by examining the body of a dead child, how to do it, and how much it can cost.

Parents who decide that they do not want a full autopsy can get some useful information by doing a few small tests. Some of these tests are X-ray, MRI, ultrasound, and cell sample testing.

The baby’s mother can also be examined for several health and maternity tests and try to find out the cause of the baby’s death by knowing the family’s health history. causes of stillbirth at 32 weeks

Mother’s treatment if the baby dies in the womb

If the baby stops moving in the womb for more than two days, the doctor will do some tests on you. Listening to the baby’s heartbeat can confirm whether the baby is alive or not. There is no immediate harm if the baby dies in the womb.

Labor pain usually begins two weeks after the baby dies. You can wait two weeks if you want and let the fetus come out regularly. But if the labor pain does not start after two weeks, you can’t wait any longer.

Because if the baby is in the mother’s womb for more than two weeks, it can bring various changes in the blood, which is very harmful to the mother. If there is no delivery within two weeks, artificial delivery is established.

Many do not feel comfortable having a dead baby in their womb for so long. In that case, the fetus is brought out by establishing artificial delivery. If the dead baby is the first child, it is not removed by cesarean section.

But if the mother has had a cesarean section before and this time the baby dies in the womb, then the dead baby is removed from the womb by cesarean section. At this time, the mother is bleeding a lot and becomes very weak. In that case, blood must be arranged in advance.

Once the baby dies in the womb, the risk of the next baby dying is 2.5%. So you have to take the next step with the advice of a doctor. The doctor will find out the cause of the death of the previous child and take action accordingly. what cause stillbirth in the third trimester

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What causes some women to be a little more at risk of stillbirth?

Anyone can have an unborn baby, but some women are at higher risk. The risk of fetal death increases due to the following reasons: main cause of stillbirth

  • If the fetus has died in the past or if intrauterine growth restriction has occurred during the previous pregnancy. It also increases the risk of stillbirth if there is premature delivery, pre-pregnancy hypertension, or pre-eclampsia.
  • If there are chronic health problems such as lupus, hypertension, diabetes, kidney problems, thrombophilia (thyroid problems), or thyroid disease, the fetus is also at risk of death.
  • If the complication increases during this pregnancy, such as intrauterine growth restriction, hypertension during pregnancy, pre-eclampsia, or cholestasis of pregnancy, the risk of fetal death increases.
  • Smoking, drinking alcohol, or using harmful drugs during pregnancy increases the risk of fetal death.
  • If there are more than two children in the womb.
  • If the mother is obese, the risk of fetal death increases. most common cause of stillbirth

There are many other reasons for such problems. American women of African descent are at higher risk than other American women. Also, women who do not conceive after reaching old age are at risk of stillbirth.

Also, based on several pieces of evidence, experts say that in the case of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ISCI), the risk of fetal death increases even if the fetus does not carry more than two babies.

Age also plays a vital role in fetal death. Both younger and older women have an increased risk of fetal death, which is much lower when they have children between the ages of 20 and 30.

However, in the case of girls under 15 years of age and women over 40 years of age, such adverse events are more common. Experts say that young girls are at higher risk due to their physical immaturity and lifestyle habits.

Also, most older women are found to be pregnant with chromosomal and congenital malformations, suffer from chronic problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure, and are more likely to conceive twins, which is one of the leading causes of fetal death. causes of stillbirth at full term

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How can I reduce the risk of stillbirth?

  • Before pregnancy

If you are not yet pregnant, talk to your doctor before conceiving. With this, if you have any kind of complication, you will get the opportunity to get the full treatment of it before pregnancy.

Also, if you have diabetes and high blood pressure, talk to your doctor about how to get it under control before you become pregnant.

Also, tell your doctor if you are already taking any medications so that he or she can increase or decrease the amount as needed. And before taking any type of herbal medicine and medicine that can be bought without a prescription, talk to your doctor about how safe it is for pregnancy.

Take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily (you can take it with multi-vitamins and again). And it starts at least a month before you start trying to conceive. Taking folic acid can reduce the risk of congenital neural tube problems such as spina bifida.

If you are obese, try to lose weight before you get pregnant. But remember never to lose weight during pregnancy. Your doctor can help you figure out how to lose weight and get back to normal.

However, according to the Institute of Medicine, obese women should not be allowed to gain more than 11-20 pounds during pregnancy. causes of stillbirth at 25 weeks

  • During pregnancy

Pregnancy conditions avoid smoking, alcohol, and taking harmful drugs. If you have trouble quitting such bad habits, you can participate in the drug rehabilitation process on the advice of your doctor.

One study found that if all women quit smoking during the first pregnancy, their risk of dying during the next pregnancy was significantly reduced.

If bleeding from your genitals occurs in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, seek medical attention immediately, as it may be a sign of placental abruption.

Seek medical attention immediately for other symptoms such as uterine tenderness, back pain, the onset of contractions or rapid onset of contractions, and decreased movement of the fetus.

Your doctor may ask you to count the amount of movement of the baby by 28 weeks. It is also possible to calculate the approximate time it takes for a child to move ten times.

If you notice less than ten movements in two hours or if you think the fetus is moving less than usual, seek medical attention immediately.

Also, if you notice any other symptoms of any problem during pregnancy, talk to your doctor without delay.

If you have already had a miscarriage (or are at risk of miscarriage for any other reason), you will have a variety of tests from the third trimester and routine monitoring.

Nonstress tests and biophysical profiles will be done to check if the baby’s heartbeat is normal. If these tests show that your baby will be safe from having a cesarean section, the doctor will recommend surgery.

Also read: When Do Babies Become Afraid of The Dark? What Can I Do To Helps

Once a stillbirth is delivered, what is the risk of recurrence?

If the doctor can determine the cause of death of the fetus in advance, then the doctors will be able to say how likely it is that it will happen again.

If you still have health problems such as lupus, chronic hypertension, diabetes, etc., the risk is higher. Also, if a child dies due to pregnancy complications such as placental abruption, the chances of the same thing happening again are high.

However, it is true that even if an event like the death of your unborn child is not likely to happen again, it will be tough for you not to worry about it.

Before re-conceiving, consider all your health issues through a doctor. If you go to a new doctor, make sure he has all your previous information and test papers. causes of stillbirth at 34, 40, 36, 28, 33, 39, 23, 37, 20, 41 weeks

You can also contact a perinatologist (such risk specialist) or any other specialist as needed if there is any such specialist in your area. For example, if your baby suffers from a genetic problem, a genetic specialist can be consulted to find out if there is a risk of fetal death or any other pregnancy problem. causes of stillbirth in third trimester, most common cause of stillbirth

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