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A stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Most stillbirths happen before a woman goes into labor. Some stillbirths may happen during labor and birth.


Seek care immediately if:

  • You have heavy vaginal bleeding that soaks 1 pad or more in an hour.
  • You have severe abdominal pain even after you take pain medicine.
  • You have thoughts of harming yourself.

Contact your obstetrician if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have nausea or are vomiting.
  • You have foul-smelling fluid coming from your vagina.
  • You or your partner feel extremely sad, hopeless, or cannot cope with what has happened.
  • You have trouble sleeping or eating.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Get support:

The loss of a baby can be very difficult for both you and your partner. Both you and the people that are close to you need time to grieve. You may feel shock, anger, emptiness, helplessness or loneliness. You may be at an increased risk for postpartum depression. Join a support group or find a counselor who can help you cope with the loss of your baby. Ask your healthcare provider for more information on support groups or where you can find help.

  • March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
    1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
    White Plains , NY 10605
    Web Address:
  • First Candle
    1314 Bedford Avenue, Suite 210
    Baltimore , MD 21208
    Phone: 1- 800 - 221-7437
    Web Address:

Follow up with your obstetrician or healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Stillbirth (Discharge Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.