Stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirth is quite common than we think and in most cases, the causes are not exactly known. Although stillbirth can occur during labor, most times, it occurs before a woman goes into labor.
What causes stillbirth?
While the causes of most stillbirths are not known, common causes include:
- Complications during pregnancy like pre-eclampsia, diabetes and thyroid disorders
- Trauma or injuries like accident
- Infections in the mother, baby or placenta. Examples include STDs and bacterial food poisoning
- Birth defects and growth restriction
- Not getting enough oxygen during labor and delivery
How can a woman tell if her baby is stillborn?
If a pregnant woman notices her baby is no longer kicking and moving and visits the hospital, there her health care provider would listen for the baby’s heartbeat using an ultrasound device.
If no heartbeat is detected, an ultrasound would be done to confirm that the heart has stopped beating and the baby has died.
If it has been confirmed that a baby has died in the womb, how is the baby delivered?
A stillborn can be delivered through:
- Dilation and Evacuation (D&E)
- Labor and delivery. The labor might be induced
- Caesarean section
What happens after a stillbirth? Is pregnancy still possible?
A woman can get pregnant and deliver a healthy baby after a stillbirth. It is always recommended that tests be done to see if its cause can be found. Knowing the cause of a stillbirth can be helpful as it may help the woman know if she’s at a risk of another. Although the chances of having another stillbirth is very low for most women, it is nevertheless best to know the cause