Topic: After StillBirth, What Next?
Hi Dr Chudi, good day. Sorry to bother you please, I just have a quick question. First off, I want to thank you for your relentless effort and dedication to the ‘ask the gynecologist’ group. You truly are a blessing. So, I had a still birth delivery 3weeks ago which was diagnosed to be due to placental abruption. Please I want to know, how long do I need to wait b4 taking in again, and what’s d risk of it happening again? Thanks, in anticipation to your reply
A stillbirth is defined as a baby born dead (intrauterine death) after 24 completed weeks of pregnancy! This is a very painful event! Very painful!
On the other hand, any baby that dies before 24 completed weeks, is termed a miscarriage or late fetal loss. Stillbirth is fairly more common than many people think. Stillbirth occurs in about 1 in 160 pregnancies. Most stillbirths occur before labor, whereas a small percentage occur during labor and delivery.
What might be the cause of stillbirth?
• Placental Problems (Placenta abruptio, placenta previa)
• Pregnancy induced hypertension
• Birth Defects: Chromosomal disorders account for 15-20% of all stillborn babies
• Growth Restriction: Babies who are small or not growing at an appropriate rate are at risk of death from asphyxia (lack of oxygen) both before and during birth, and from unknown causes.
• Infections: Bacterial infections between 24 and 27 weeks gestation can cause fetal deaths. These infections usually go unnoticed by the mother and may not be diagnosed until they cause serious complications.
• Other infrequent causes of stillbirth include: umbilical cord accidents, trauma, maternal diabetes, high blood pressure and postdate pregnancy (a pregnancy that lasts longer than 42 weeks)
1. Are obese. If you’re obese,
2. Multiple pregnancy
3. Age, common from 35 years and above
4. Have a medical condition like diabetes or low or high blood pressure
5. Have never given birth before
6. Had a miscarriage or stillbirth in a past pregnancy, or you had a baby who died in the first 28 days of life (called neonatal death)
7. Had complications in a past pregnancy, like premature birth, preeclampsia or fetal growth restriction
8. Smoke, use street drugs, take prescription painkillers or drink alcohol during pregnancy
9. Are black. Black women have a higher risk for stillbirth compared to other women.
How soon to try again after stillbirth?
First of all, let me make a factual statement, “Most women who have a stillbirth and get pregnant again later can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.”
Please follow the given advice below
1. You MUST do one thing, give yourself time to heal physically and emotionally and spiritually. You MUST talk to your provider about what’s right for you.
2. You MUST follow up with your provider to figure out why it happened in the first place. He/ She will conduct medical tests to try to find out more about what caused your stillbirth.
3. Please you MUST receive full report of the test and must be certified ok by your doctor, before you can try again.
4. After the tests, if you had a stillbirth that was caused by a genetic condition, a genetic counselor can help you understand the chances of having another stillbirth. A genetic counselor is a person who is trained to help you understand about how genes, birth defects and other medical conditions run in families, and how they can affect your health and your baby’s health.
Your health care provider can help you find a genetic counselor. This is very important!
Thank you and good luck.
References & Photo Credit
March Of Dimes