You will be given tests to determine the reason of the stillbirth. You are not required to get them, but the findings may help you prevent complications in future pregnancies. You may be subjected to testing. An examination by a specialist of the umbilical cord, membranes, and placenta—the tissues that connect you to your baby and maintain your infant during pregnancy. The doctor will look for signs of infection or problems with the development of the fetus.
A fetal autopsy is done to learn more about your baby and how they died. This test can give information on possible genetic defects of the baby. It can also reveal diseases that may not cause any symptoms during pregnancy, such as diabetes and heart disease. The autopsy may show evidence of infections such as rubella or toxoplasmosis. It may also reveal abnormalities such as hydrocephalus (excessive fluid buildup in the brain) or anencephaly (the absence of a complete brain and skull).
Stillbirth rates vary depending on where you live. In some countries you can go many months or even years without hearing from anyone related to your loss, while in other parts of the world it is common to hear from friends, family, or colleagues who have lost a child. There are several reasons why stillbirth rates differ between regions and countries. Differences in access to health care could affect how soon after birth a death is reported. Also, cultural norms related to pregnancy and childbirth may influence what is done with the body.
Fetal autopsy, physical and histologic examination of the placenta, umbilical cord, and membranes, and genetic testing should all be performed in the case of a stillbirth 91. Figure 2 illustrates an evaluation algorithm. The cause of death may be apparent from the history given by the family or identified during the postmortem examination. In some cases, a definitive cause of death cannot be determined despite complete autopsy and investigation of possible contributory factors. These cases are classified as unexplained stillbirths.
An evaluation for fetal anomalies can also be done at autopsy. A detailed anatomy textbook is available to students who need further reference on specific organs.
It is important to understand that the cause of death may not be apparent but that this does not mean that there was no cause. For example, if the fetus had hydrops fetalis (edema and excess fluid in the body), this would likely lead to its demise before 42 weeks' gestation. However, the autopsy may reveal other problems with the heart or lungs that were the actual cause of death.
Stillborn infants should be removed from the incubator after completion of the autopsy procedure. It is important to note that most autopsies are completed within 24 hours of delivery because many findings become evident only after close inspection under magnification or following removal of tissues for laboratory analysis.
Because you experienced a previous miscarriage, your pregnancy after a stillbirth should be classified as "high risk." It means you'll get extra attention and scans to monitor your baby's growth and development. Although this does not eliminate worry, most parents find it comforting.
After your stillborn child is delivered by cesarean section, your doctor will check your uterus to make sure it's healthy before sending you home. You may also need blood tests or other examinations to make sure there's no problem with your thyroid, lungs, heart, or other organs.
If everything looks good and you're ready to be released, your surgeon will talk with you about what happened during your baby's death sentence and give you advice on coping with your loss.
Parents who have gone through this experience say it's helpful to know that others like you are out there fighting the same battle. You can share your feelings by talking with others who have been through similar situations. And remember, life does go on. You must learn to live again after losing a baby.
A stillbirth occurs when a baby dies in the womb after week 20 of the mother's pregnancy. In one-third of cases, the explanations go unanswered. The remaining two-thirds may be caused by placental or umbilical cord difficulties, high blood pressure, infections, birth abnormalities, or bad lifestyle choices.
Stillbirth can happen at any stage of labor. If you're experiencing labor, there are several things you should know about how to prevent and deal with stillbirth. First, understand that most stillborn babies are healthy. Only one in 100 births results in a stillborn infant, and most of these infants were expected based on their mother's age and past history of having children.
The most common cause of stillbirth is problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. The baby may not get enough oxygen because the placenta isn't providing enough blood flow to the uterus. This can lead to fetal distress which means your baby is struggling to survive. A stillborn baby may also have too much fluid in the lungs, liver, or brain. Other factors include infection, premature rupture of the membranes, and high blood pressure that has no other cause for its presence in the body.
Stillbirth is a devastating experience that affects many people involved in the delivery. Parents need support after a stillbirth to help them process their grief.
What are the signs of a stillbirth?