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What is stillbirth?

Stillbirth is a fetus that is showing no signs of life. Stillbirth may be caused by limited growth of the fetus, or infection of the fetus. It may be caused by problems with the umbilical cord. The placenta may pull away from the uterus early which may cause a premature baby or stillbirth. There may also be a genetic problem with the placenta that causes death. Many times the cause is not known.

What may have increased my risk for a stillbirth?

  • Smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, or using illegal drugs during pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Being 35 years old or older
  • Medical conditions, such as diabetes, kidney or liver disease, or history of blood clots
  • Being pregnant with more than 1 fetus
  • Previous stillbirth

What can I expect if I have a stillbirth?

Your caregiver will speak to you about delivering the fetus. He will offer you options for delivery, such as timing and methods. He may also refer you to a counselor, or group for support.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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