If expectant mother losses her child at or after the 20th week of gestation, it means she has undergone intrauterine fetal death which is a clinical term for stillbirth. The grief of parents who have lost their child is unimaginable. It is important to know what may cause intrauterine fetal death to take precautions and avoid the risks of recurrence.
Illiteracy, poor socioeconomic conditions, lack of accurate information are a few factors for high fetal mortality rate.
There are a number of causes which may lead to fetal death but the most common causes include:
- Fetal growth restriction. Smoking during pregnancy, hypertension, etc. may cause a fetus to grow slowly. Ultrasound during pregnancy may help in monitoring the growth of the baby.
- Placental abruption or disorders. It is a condition in which before delivery placenta peels away, either partially or completely from the uterine wall. This may threaten the life of both mother and baby as it may result in heavy bleeding. Women who smoke cigarettes or use cocaine during pregnancy are at high risk of placental abruption.
- Birth Defects. Chromosomal disorders like Down syndrome and other birth defects caused by genetic, environmental or unknown causes.
- Umbilical cord complications. Irregular placement of the cord or a knot in the umbilical cord which may deprive the fetus of oxygen.
Risk Factors for Stillbirth
There are various factors that can place a woman at higher risk for stillbirth. Some of them are:
- Your general well-being determines if your body is healthy enough to carry a child. Hypertension, high sugar levels, obesity, kidney disorders, and thyroid are a few conditions responsible for stillbirth.
- Unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking alcohol during pregnancy may also lead to fetal death in the uterus.
- Advanced maternal age (over the age of 35) is not an uncommon cause of fetal death. Although with the help of advanced prenatal care, the risk of fetal death is less likely to happen yet women of older age may experience it.
- Multiple births: When a woman is carrying more than one baby, chances of stillbirth increases. This is the reason why it is advised to women undergoing IVF to have just one embryo per be transferred per cycle.
- Complications during prior pregnancy: Women who have had an experienced stillbirth in their earlier pregnancies are at 10 percent higher risk of experiencing it again in their future pregnancies.
It is natural to undergo an array of emotions if you experience stillbirth but instead of swallowing those emotions it is suggested to turn to your family and friends for emotional support. If you still find it difficult to cope up with the situation you may also ask your obstetrician to refer you some support groups or you can also see a licensed counselor or medical health professional.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is collected from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily show the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)