Stillbirth is typically defined as fetal death at or after 20 to 28 weeks of pregnancy (depending on the source). It has ti do with a baby born without signs of life. A stillbirth can bring about the feeling of guilt or grief in the mother. The term still birth, is in contrast to miscarriage, which is an early pregnancy loss. Here are Still birth Other names: Fetal death, fetal demise.
It might interest us to know that, the causes of still birth is not known. But there are factors that are known to increase risk of still birth, they include: 1. congenital anomalies, which are conditions that affect the baby’s structure (how its body is built) or function (how its body works) while it is developing in the uterus.
2. A premature birth, where the baby is too immature to survive
3. Fetal growth restriction, where the baby doesn’t grow to full potential
4. A medical condition of the mother, such as diabetes, renal disease, heart disease or pre-eclampsia
5. complications during birth
6. problems with the umbilical cord or placenta advanced maternal age
7. Being obese before pregnancy infection
8.Sleeping on your back during pregnancy smoking, drinking alcohol or taking drugs during pregnancy
9 A knock or trauma to the mother’s abdomen (the tummy area)
10. family violence during pregnancy
Even though the cause of a stillbirth is often never known, there are several things you can do that may lower the risk of having one. 1. Staying healthy and taking folic acid before you become pregnant, as well as avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol and taking drugs are all important. 2. It is also important that you go to all of your antenatal appointments and screenings for any potential health issues as well as having an ultrasound in early pregnancy, which may detect problems. 3. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, you should try to ensure these are well controlled before and during your pregnancy. 4. You should monitor your baby’s movements, especially in the third trimester. If you think your baby’s movements have changed, speak to your doctor or midwife immediately. 5. You should sleep on your side as your pregnancy progresses, especially from 28 weeks. Lying on your back puts pressure on major blood vessels. This can reduce the flow of blood to your womb, and restrict your baby’s oxygen supply. Research has shown that sleeping on your side can reduce the risk of stillbirth by half. 6. It is also important that you take your birth team’s advice on inducing or having a caesarean if your pregnancy goes past the due date. Here are the possible warning signs of still birth, Kindly Contact your doctor or midwife immediately if:
1. you think your baby has stopped moving or is moving differently or less than usual you have strong pain or cramping in your abdomen or back
2. you receive a hard knock or blow to your abdomen
3. you are bleeding or leaking more discharge than normal from your vagina
4.you feel dizzy, experience changes to your vision, or have severe or long-lasting headaches
5. your face, feet or hands suddenly swell or you have painful swelling in your legs
6.you have severe or ongoing nausea and vomiting that affects your eating or drinking
7. you have a fever or chills
8. you sense that something doesn’t feel right
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