Stillborn Babies

Topics: Pregnancy, Stillbirth, Fetus Pages: 3 (856 words) Published: April 15, 2013
Still Born Babies
What is stillbirth? The medical definition of a still birth is when a baby is born without any signs of life at or after 20 weeks or weighing more than 500g before labour. Death in the fetus may have occurred during pregnancy, which is intrauterine death, labour, or birth. Most still births are intrauterine. As rare as stillbirth is, it occurs once in every 160 pregnancies.

What causes a stillbirth? There are a number of known causes of stillbirth. Sometimes more than one of these causes may contribute to the baby’s death. Common causes include: * Birth defects: Such as Down syndrome. Others have other birth defects resulting from genetic, environmental or unknown causes. * Placental problems: Placental abruption. In this condition, the placenta peels away, partly to almost completely, from the uterine wall before delivery. It results in heavy bleeding that can threaten the life of mother and baby. Sometimes it can cause the fetus to die from lack of oxygen. * Poor fetal growth: Fetuses who are growing too slowly are at increased risk of stillbirth. About 40 percent of stillborn babies have poor growth. Increased risk by smoking or high blood pressure. * Infections: Infections involving the mother, fetus or placenta appear to cause about 10 to 25 percent of stillbirths. These include genital and urinary tract infections that may go undiagnosed until they cause serious complications * Chronic health conditions in the pregnant woman: About 10 percent of stillbirths are related to chronic health conditions in the mother, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney diseases, and blood clotting disorders. * Umbilical cord accidents: These include a knot in the cord or abnormal placement of the cord into the placenta, causing there to be a shortage of oxygen to the fetus. Other causes of stillbirth include trauma (such as car accidents), postdate pregnancy (a pregnancy that lasts longer than 42 weeks), Rh disease (an...
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