Aug 09, 2023
A stillbirth occurs when a foetus passes away after the mother has reached her 20th week of pregnancy. Weeks or even hours before labour began, the foetus may have passed away in the uterus. Rarely, the foetus may pass away while the mother is giving birth. Although prenatal care has significantly improved over the years, stillbirths still occur and are frequently undiagnosed.
Stillbirth varieties depend on how many weeks are left in the pregnancy and it can be classified as follows:
The parents' ability to support the grieving process as well as that of the medical staff depends on their understanding of the cause of the loss. The most likely reasons are those listed below, but the cause is not always known (1 in 3 stillbirths cannot be explained).
Although a stillbirth can occur without any symptoms, the most common one is the absence of foetal movement. Women who are above 28 weeks pregnant are frequently advised by doctors to monitor foetal kick counts at least once each day. A kick count that is unusually low, nonexistent, or high can raise red flags. A non-stress test (NST), which determines whether your unborn child is safe, may be recommended by your doctor.
Babies experience active and inactive days, much like adults. By drinking juice and then lying down, you can effectively stimulate your infant and keep an eye on activity. Over the course of the following 30 minutes or so, a baby will typically react with kicks. Believe trust your gut. If your child seems to be less active to you immediately consult your doctor.
Pregnant persons of any age, background, or ethnicity are susceptible to stillbirth. 1 in 3 cases go unsolved, thus they can be unpredictable. But there are certain ways you can lower your risk. You're more likely to experience a stillbirth if you:
You'll typically notice that the foetus is less active than it was. The presence of the foetus will be confirmed via an ultrasound.
Your healthcare professional will carry out one or more of the following tests to determine the cause:
Your healthcare practitioner will also look at your medical history and the circumstances of the stillbirth. To ascertain the reason for foetal death, an autopsy might be carried out with your permission. A trained pathologist performs an autopsy, which is a surgical procedure. Incisions are performed with care to prevent disfigurement, and they are afterwards surgically healed. You have the right to limit the autopsy to avoid any incisions on your child that may bother you. Make sure to include these requests on the autopsy permission form.
Your newborn may need to be transferred to another hospital because some of them don't perform autopsies. Make sure the location where your child is being taken meets your comfort level. If you choose to, you may also refuse to have an autopsy.
In some situations, such as the following, an autopsy may be legally required.
You have three choices if the foetus dies before labour begins:
Induced labor- The best course of action following a stillbirth is induced labour, according to medical professionals.labor should be induced immediately if the following conditions are present:
One of five different medical procedures is used to induce labour:
It is possible to wait for a delivery to occur spontaneously, but with time, the foetal body inside your uterus can degrade. You might not recognise the foetus at first. Identifying the cause of death is also made more challenging by the deterioration.
A caesarean section. Because it is not as safe as a natural birth or induced labour, a caesarean section is not advised.
Your medical professionals will let you spend as much time with your child as you need to, and you will be able to hold your newborn. At first, this concept could make you uneasy.
If your child has any memories or keepsakes, such a blanket, a piece of hair, the hospital ID bracelet, etc., you might want to request them. You can use a camera. Although it could be uncomfortable now, this might turn out to be a prized asset later on and might support you as you go through the grieving process. The majority of hospitals will provide a birth certificate for the family, but be sure to ask and insist that it also include the child's handprints and footprints.
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