Causes of Stillbirth

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What are the causes of stillbirth?

There are no known causes of stillbirth, but there are several conditions which may lead to stillbirth. Stillbirth refers to the loss of a pregnancy after the 20th week of pregnancy which is due to natural causes. It can also occur before delivery or as a result of complications during labor and delivery. Stillbirth can also be described as IUFD, or intrauterine fetal death.

There are many factors which may cause stillbirth:
  • Diabetes in the mother
  • Hemorrhage
  • Infectious diseases within the fetus which includes syphilis, German Measles (rubella) and influenza, toxoplasmosis which are parasites in the infected mother being transmitted to the fetus characterized by lesions of the central nervous system causing blindness and brain damage.
  • Spina Bifida is a congenital defect in which the spinal column is imperfectly closed so that part of the spinal cord may protrude often resulting in neurological disorders.
  • Postmaturity is a condition in which the pregnancy lasts 41 weeks or longer.
  • Alcohol use, as well as drug abuse along with cigarette smoking increase chances of stillbirth.
  • Placental problems may involve the placenta separating too soon from the uterine wall.
  • There are umbilical-cord problems in which the cord comes from the vagina before the baby blocking the baby’s oxygen supply before it is ready to breathe on its own.
  • Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia are disorders of late pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, fluid retention, and protein in the urine.

    “When I was pregnant with my first child, I acquired this disorder in the ninth month of my pregnancy. I was immediately hospitalized in intensive care and I stayed confined for 30 days, allowed only to walk around the hospital, and was prescribed a medication to control seizures. X-rays were later taken to make sure the baby was in position to be born, and labor was induced because of the elevations of high blood pressure. The baby was born healthy, but my son and I were watched carefully several days after birth.”
If you are concerned that stillbirth may result from a condition you are experiencing, see your doctor immediately.

If you are currently coping with the death of your child, please read this hope-filled personal story.



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