Risk Factors for Stillbirths

Women who smoke or drink alcohol during their pregnancies increase their child's risk of being stillborn. In fact, smoking when you're pregnant can increase the risk of placental abruption by as much as 50%.

Women who suffer from preeclampsia also increase the risk of placental abruption by 50%. Women who have experienced a stillbirth in a previous pregnancy should receive careful, regular prenatal care to ensure another stillbirth does not occur.


It is always important to receive regular prenatal care whe you are pregnant. However, if you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, proper prenatal care becomes imperative to both your health and the health of your baby.

It is because of the careful monitoring of women with high-risk pregnancies that the rate of stillbirths has declined over the years.

There are a couple of things that you can do at home to help monitor your baby's health. A fetal heart monitor for home use can help alert you to any problems with your baby.

Alternatively, you could also start counting the number of kicks your baby does everyday after the 25th week or so. If your baby produces less than ten kicks a day, make an appointment with your health care provider to ensure that everything is okay.

While placental abruption can have serious consequences, it doesn't have to result in a stillbirth. Since a common sign of placental abruption is bleeding, any unusual vaginal bleeding you experience should be reported to your health care provider.

If the placenta has started to detach itself from the uterine lining, an emergency cesarean can prevent your child from being stillborn.

After a Stillbirth

A pregnancy loss is always difficult for parents. It is important that you allow yourself to grieve in a way that you feel comfortable with.

Seek out counseling if you feel it will help. There are many support groups and organizations that are dedicated solely to helping parents who have suffered a stillbirth.

Pregnancy after a stillbirth is possible. However, give yourself time to heal, both physically and mentally, before trying again. The likelihood of a recurrent stillbirth will depend on the cause of the first stillbirth.

While a genetic defect could appear in another pregnancy, a stillbirth caused by a chromosomal abnormality is unlikely to repeat itself.

When you do become pregnant again, take care to receive proper prenatal care throughout your pregnancy to help prevent another stillbirth from occurring.

Recommended Link
Many women find it beneficial to write about their experience with pregnancy loss in order to help themselves heal. If you would like an outlet for your emotions, then consider visiting Pregnancy Stories, where you can post your own tale of stillbirth while helping other women also dealing with miscarriage realize that they are not alone.

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Table of Contents
1. Stillbirth Warning Signs
2. Stillbirth risk factors
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