Background. Stillbirth after 28 weeks gestation affects between 1.3–8.8 per 1000 births in high-income countries. The majority of stillbirths in this setting occur in women without established risk factors.
At or after 40 weeks, the risk of stillbirth increases, especially for women 35 or older. Their risk, research shows, is doubled from 39 weeks to 40 and is more than six times as high at 42 weeks.
Stillbirth is further classified as either early, late, or term. An early stillbirth is a fetal death occurring between 20 and 27 completed weeks of pregnancy. A late stillbirth occurs between 28 and 36 completed pregnancy weeks. A term stillbirth occurs between 37 or more completed pregnancy weeks.
The most common symptom of stillbirth is when you stop feeling your baby moving and kicking. Others include cramps, pain or bleeding from the vagina. Call your health care provider right away or go to the emergency room if you have any of these conditions.
Stillbirths in the United States
In 2006, the most recent year for which U.S. data are available, 1 out of every 167 pregnancies that made it to the 20th week ended with the death of the fetus before birth (that is, stillbirth before delivery). This translates to a total of nearly 26,000 deaths.
Stillbirth in Australia
In Australia, 6 babies are stillborn each day, affecting more than 2,000 Australian families each year.
Like the two earlier papers, this report provides surprisingly encouraging data. Most babies born unexpectedly without a heartbeat can be successfully resuscitated in the delivery room. Of those successfully resuscitated, 48% survive with normal outcome or mild-moderate disability.
Research has shown that in the third trimester (after 28 weeks of pregnancy) going to sleep on your back increases your risk of stillbirth. As the link has now been shown in four separate research trials, our advice is to go to sleep on your side in the third trimester because it is safer for your baby.
Problems with the pregnancy likely caused almost one in three stillbirths. These complications included preterm labor, pregnancy with twins or triplets, and the separation of the placenta from the womb (also called “placental abruption;” the placenta provides nutrients and oxygen to the fetus).
being over 35 years of age. smoking, drinking alcohol or misusing drugs while pregnant. being obese – having a body mass index above 30. having a pre-existing physical health condition, such as epilepsy.
High levels of perceived stress were shown to double the risk of stillbirth (3.57% vs 1.17%) independent of other social factors and pregnancy complications that can put pressure on mothers.
What causes a stillbirth? There can be a number of reasons why a baby is stillborn however sometimes a cause cannot be found. In Australia, the major causes of stillbirth are infection, the health of the mother, bleeding, a premature labour that cannot be stopped or an abnormality with the developing baby.
Women who had a caesarean delivery had a higher risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and placental problems in future pregnancies than women who had a vaginal delivery. All but one study was observational, so we cannot be sure whether delivery method causes these outcomes.
Most babies (92%) in Australia are born at term (37–41 weeks), with 32% at early term (37 or 38 weeks) and 60% at full term (39–41 weeks).
Researchers explore how maternal sleep habits during pregnancy may be associated with fetal health. Sleeping more than nine hours per night during pregnancy may be associated with late stillbirth, a new study suggests.
Many physicians advise pregnant women to sleep on their left side. Previous studies have linked back and right-side sleeping with a higher risk of stillbirth, reduced fetal growth, low birth weight, and preeclampsia, a life-threatening high blood pressure disorder that affects the mother.
Signs The Umbilical Cord Is Around Baby's Neck
It's visible via ultrasound. Your practitioner can detect a nuchal cord about 70 percent of the time during routine ultrasounds, although it's usually not possible to determine if the cord is short or tight around the neck.
After the baby is stillborn
After a stillbirth, many parents want to see and hold their baby. It's entirely up to you whether you wish to do so. You'll be given some quiet time with your baby if this is what you want.
Although the definition of apparent stillbirth is inconclusive, it generally refers to a severely asphyxiated neonate with a 1-min Apgar score (AS1) of 0–1 in a clinical setting (1–3), particularly a neonate who had a heartbeat before or during labor.
A stillbirth is the death of a fetus in the uterus after week 20 of pregnancy. The reasons go unexplained for 1 in 3 cases. The rest may be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, high blood pressure, infections, birth defects, or lifestyle choices.
A substantial number of relationships ended during the study period. Among couples who had a live birth, more than 40 percent broke up within 10 years. But among couples who had a stillbirth, that figure was nearly 60 percent; meanwhile, close to half of couples who had a miscarriage broke up within a decade.
If there's no medical reason for your baby to be born straightaway, it may be possible to wait for labour to start naturally. You might not need to decide this immediately. You may be able to go home for a day or two first. In some cases, you might be offered medicine to help induce labour.
“Over 40 percent of women in our sample had full-blown post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is very, very high. Almost 30 percent of the women met the criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD). These numbers highlight the magnitude of distress,” Horesh said.
Causes of maternal deaths
The most frequent causes of maternal death reported in Australia between 2011 and 2020 were: For all maternal deaths: cardiovascular disease (31 deaths or 16%) thromboembolism (22 deaths or 11%)