Stillbirth Risks Can Now Be Avoided [To an extent]

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Pregnancy is a risk women understand; a stillbirth is damaging as such with a life gone before it came about. Many risk factors accompany a stillbirth and although most of these risk factors are external and uncontrollable to a large extent, a new study points to the possibility that most of these risks can be ironed out.

A Web MD news clip mentions the finding with reference to George Saade, M.D – professor of obstetrics and Gynecology, chief of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston – and his team. Dr.Saade states that it’s possible to change a lot of things about the risk regarding stillbirths.

In the U.S alone, 1 in 160 pregnancies are affected by stillbirths, which are defined as the fetal death about 20 weeks into the pregnancy, which is caused due to a variety of factors. Roughly about 30,000 infants are stillborn each year and even though there’s been a steady decline in the rate of stillbirths, prevalence of stillbirths is still a reality.

Some of the causes of stillbirth, identified by the aforementioned study  – that’s been funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child health and Human Development and conduced by the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network – are conditions such as diabetes, AB blood type, being obese or overweight, smoking (especially three months before pregnancy), and even previous stillbirths.

Smoking before 3 months of pregnancy and a previous stillbirth increases the possibility of stillbirth by 1.5 and 6 times respectively, for instance. According to, stillbirths have also been linked to Placenta. Yet another 15-19 percent of stillbirths are caused by infections, fetal abnormalities, and problems with the umbilical cord.

Instead of the usual tendency of the parents to think about a new pregnancy already, it’s important to first discern the possibility of a stillbirth and also counseling for future pregnancies. A few of the things that Dr. Saade, along with his team, pointed out to prevent stillbirths are good parental care and counseling, a willingness to undergo autopsy to find possible causes of potential stillbirths and also to “facilitate emotional healing and closure for parents”.



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