What is stillbirth?

A stillbirth is one of the most devastating things that can happen in the Labor and Delivery Department of any California hospital. As WebMD explains, a stillbirth is when a baby is born after it has died in the womb. It occurs after the 20th week of pregnancy. Before that time, it is considered a miscarriage.

If you or someone you know has suffered a stillbirth, you may be left wondering why it happened. The reality is that in most cases the cause is never known. However, there are ideas of what could cause it to happen, and in some cases, it has been discovered there are specific reasons it occurs. 

Some causes are not detectable or preventable. For example, a birth defect or a blood clotting condition could lead to the death of a baby in the womb. Other situations may have been detected but were missed or not detected early enough, such as placenta problems, preeclampsia or umbilical cord issues. There may be outside influences, such as environmental positioning that could also lead to a stillbirth. 

In addition, higher risk pregnancies can more often result in a stillbirth. This means anyone who is over the age of 35 or under the age of 15, who smokes, is obese or has a drug abuse problem. Also, once you have a stillbirth, your chances of another one are increased. 

Stillbirths are probably more common than you think. They actually happen in one pregnancy out of 200. However, with proper healthcare and screenings, it may be possible to prevent them from occurring. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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