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Stillbirth Causes and Symptoms

If a baby dies after twentieth week, it is said to be a stillbirth. Sometimes, the baby dies in a few weeks before the due date and sometimes, the baby dies during labor or after labor.


1. Problems in placenta: If the placenta is not attached appropriately to the uterus, it can cause disruption in the supply of oxygen and blood to the fetus, and may result in death of the unborn baby. Poor circulation of blood is seen in case of twins that suffer from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome.

2. Umbilical cord: Baby may die if the umbilical cord is tightened around the neck or the cord wraps the fetus's body. It can cause cord prolapse, the condition in which the baby falls down the open cervix during labor.

3. Rh incompatibly: If the mother and the baby suffer from Rh incompatibly, the fetus may have stillbirth.

4. Medical problems in mother: Mother suffering from blood pressure problems such as chronic hypertension, diabetes heart disease and infections, is at a high risk.

5. Age: Mother of age above thirty-five, is at a high risk.

6. Lifestyle and habits: Smoking, taking alcohol or drugs increases the risk.

7. Birth defects in fetus: Babies suffering from certain medical conditions may have stillbirth and it is natural process, in which the body eliminates fetus, which is not healthy.


There are many symptoms, which indicate death of the unborn baby, such as:

1. Absence of fetus movement (as the fetus stops kicking).

2. Absence of heart beat when heard through stethoscope.

3. No movement seen in ultrasound.

4. Excessive pain and cramps that causes bleeding.

Immediately contact your medical practitioner if you have such symptoms.

How to diagnose stillbirth

1. Internal examination can be done to find out the cause of the death of the fetus. Incision can be made to diagnose the condition.

2. Autopsy can confirm the cause of death of the baby.

Autopsy is needed in case

1. The baby dies either during surgical operation or during labor, after living for some time.

2. If the doctor cannot inform about the causes of death.

What to do if you have symptoms resembling stillbirth

If the fetus heartbeat cannot be heard or the movement stops, you have three options:

1. Wait till the start of natural labor.

2. Go for induced labor to open the cervix and allow uterus contractions, to push the baby out.

3. Consult the medical practitioner, who dilates the cervix using instrument to deliver the fetus.

What after delivery of a stillborn?

The mother may have heavy bleeding, chills or fever, which indicates infection after delivery of the stillbirth baby and the milk producing hormones activates, which can be prevented by taking mediation. Meet the medical counselor to reduce psychological effects.

Delivering a stillbirth does not indicate that the mother will not have a normal delivery. It happens because the fetus was not healthy or there are some medical complications. Mother should take treatment for the medial issues that caused the stillbirth.

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