Stillbirth Awareness

Oct 04, 2019

The loss of a baby during pregnancy remains a sad reality for many families. October is Stillbirth Awareness Month and joining WDTV tonight is Lee Ann Romeo, OB Childbirth Educator, Lactation Counselor at UHC.

1). Can you explain what a Stillbirth is?

A stillbirth is the death of a baby before or during delivery. Both miscarriage and stillbirth describe pregnancy loss, but they differ according to when the loss occurs. In the United States, a miscarriage is usually defined as loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy, and a stillbirth is loss of a baby at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later.

2). How Many Babies Are Stillborn?

About 1 pregnancy in 100 at 20 weeks of pregnancy and later is affected by stillbirth, and each year about 24,000 babies are stillborn in the United States. This is why UHC has a support group for parents who have experienced a loss — Embracing Invisible Wings. This is our 9th year, and we were among the first support groups established in the state. We are here to help support you during this difficult time. Please feel free to contact me at 681-342-4346 for more information.

3.) What Increases the Risk of a Stillbirth?

Sometime stillbirths are “unexplained” that is it cannot be determined at birth what happened. Other times the reason is due to a birth defect or a cord accident in which the blood flow and oxygen to the baby has been interrupted. There are times when an autopsy may be indicated, you can speak to your health care provider for more information on this Stillbirth occurs in families of all races, ethnicities, and income levels, and to women of all ages. However, stillbirth occurs more commonly among certain groups of people including women who:

  • African Americans
  • Mothers 35 years of age or older
  • Low socioeconomic status/ poor or no prenatal care
  • Cigarette smoking or drug use during pregnancy
  • Medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gestational diabetes and obesity
  • Mother’s with multiple pregnancies such as triplets or quadruplets
  • A previous pregnancy loss.
  • Factors such as maternal health, income, access to quality health care, stress, social and emotional support resources and cultural factors may also play a role in stillbirth outcomes. More research is needed to determine the underlying cause of stillbirths in these populations.

These factors are also associated with other poor pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth.

This content was originally posted on the WDTV News website here.

Please note, the information provided throughout this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and video, on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. If you are experiencing related symptoms, please visit your doctor or call 9-1-1 in an emergency.