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What Are the Signs of a Stillborn Baby?

April 5, 2020 Pegalis Law Group

Losing a baby during pregnancy is one of the most difficult experiences in life. If it occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy, it’s usually referred to as a miscarriage, while anything beyond that timeframe is considered a stillbirth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates about 24,000 stillbirths occur in the United States every year. You have the right to be proactive about your prenatal care. Pegalis Law Group is here to increase public awareness about stillbirths, including their causes and symptoms.

What Factors Increase Your Risk of Stillbirth?

Pregnant women over the age of 35, teenagers, and those without access to prenatal care are among the highest risk groups for stillbirths, although they may happen to anyone at any time. Your risks are further increased if you’re obese or you use tobacco, marijuana, or certain prescription medications during your pregnancy. The cause of many stillbirths is unknown. However, there are specific factors that may increase your risks for stillbirths, including the following:

  • Preterm births before the 24th week
  • Late deliveries after 42 weeks
  • Carrying multiple babies
  • Trauma or injury during pregnancy
  • Complications during pregnancy, such as placental abruption or fetal growth restriction
  • Congenital disabilities
  • Rh incompatibility (the baby’s blood carries a different Rhesus protein than the mother)
  • Infections, such as syphilis, genital herpes, or toxoplasmosis
  • The mother’s health (issues with diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, etc.)

What Are Symptoms Associated with Stillbirths?

Common symptoms associated with stillbirths include severe cramping, bleeding, or pain in your vagina. Many women also notice a lack of movement in their womb, especially if their baby moved about and kicked frequently. However, some women may not experience any warning symptoms at all.

What Can You Do to Prevent Stillbirths from Occurring?

Keeping your doctor in the loop about risk factors, including high blood pressure or diabetes, is the best way to prevent a stillbirth. You should also carefully monitor your baby’s movement and note any changes in its frequency, pattern, or strength. Every pregnancy is unique, so don’t try to compare symptoms between your current and past pregnancies. Always trust your intuition and be sure to notify your doctor or visit your closest emergency room immediately if you experience bleeding or any other signs of complications during your pregnancy.

Safer Medical Practices Start with Proactive Parents-to-Be

Pegalis Law Group, LLC is a New York-based law firm devoted to educating the public about the importance of prenatal care and having discussions with your doctor to avoid late or misdiagnoses. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive updates on how you can be proactive about your healthcare.