What is Stillbirth?

What is Stillbirth?

Stillbirth occurs when the fetus dies in the uterus or during labor.

The term stillbirth is given to a fetus that has died after reaching full term gestational age or mid second trimester. It describes an infant birth without life after 24 weeks of gestation. Some sources that use the term stillbirth, use miscarriage if death occurs prior to 24 weeks development.

Causes of Stillbirth:

Causes for stillbirths still remain unknown, even in some cases where extensive autopsy and testing is done.

The following are some known causes for stillbirths:

  • Birth defects, particularly pulmonary hypoplasia
  • Maternal diabetes
  • Bacterial infections and chromosomal aberrations
  • Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy
  • Growth retardation
  • High blood pressure, that includes preeclampsia
  • Placental abruptions
  • Physical trauma
  • Maternal consumption of alcohol, nicotine, pharmaceutical drugs, or recreational drugs
  • Rh disease
  • Radiation poisoning
  • Umbilical cord accidents

Umbilical Cord Length:

Short umbilical length affects the fetus in movement and can cause cord constriction, compression and, ruptures. A long umbilical cord can also present difficulties.


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