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what causes babies to be born stillborn
what causes babies to be born stillborn
A baby that is born stillborn shows no sign of life at the delivery. Babies that have reached 24 weeks gestational age in pregnancy and are born dead is known as a stillborn birth, also known as a stillbirth. Babies that died before 24 weeks of completed pregnancy gestation are classed as a miscarriage in medical terms.( Its such a shame as these tiny babies don't get a stillborn death certificate as yet in the uk).
There are many reasons for a stillborn baby delivery and in this article we look at some of the most common causes for these babies that sadly died.
placenta in pregnancy caused my baby to be born stillborn
- one cause of a stillbirth problems is with the placenta including placenta previa. The placenta is low lying in the uterus.it can be partially or wholly covering the cervix. the pregnancy will be very closely monitored and a c section may be needed.it will be the only safe way to deliver baby due to the high risk of this pregnancy risk covering the normal exit method. There is a high risk of bleeding with this placenta problem and a cause of death of a baby. Growth restriction due to the placenta, The placenta could stop working properly and if baby's growth is restricted and not picked up upon then baby is also at risk of being born stillborn. Placenta abruption where the placenta comes are from the lining of the wall in pregnancy can cause a stillborn baby death. The placenta can also not function properly in multiple births, a condition called twin to twin transfusion syndrome is another known factor effecting the placenta and umbilical cord that can cause one or more babies to be born stillborn.In 24% of stillbirths a blood clot too is often the reason a baby died.
umbilical cord causes death of some stillborn babies
- The umbilical cord and the way it works can cause a stillbirth, one common reason is tied around babies neck. You cant control the length of the cord accidents happen and mums often blame themselves and their own body when their baby is born stillborn especially with cord problems. A prolapsed umbilical cord can be the cause of death in stillborns. Its where the cord comes out through the vagina before baby it can get squeezed so much that it causes a lack of oxygen to baby resulting in death if baby isn't delivered quickly.
Infection in pregnancy cause of a stillborn baby loss
- Infection to mother or baby during pregnancy can be the cause of a stillborn infant being delivered. Strep B is common and a condition called sepsis is a severe infection that is in the bloodstream direct. In severe cases it causes the organs to shut down one by one.
Genetic defects that cause the death of some stillborn babies
- A genetic defect can cause a stillbirth in some babies. in repeated miscarriages it is also known that a faulty gene is a major cause of the baby dying. An extra chromosome such as trisomy 13 can cause a stillbirth the development of baby is disrupted in the womb some babies die before or shortly after birth. Trisomy 18 effects cell division during pregnancy, babies can be born stillborn in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. 10% of babies with this condition can be born alive and go onto have home nursing with their parents even reaching their first birthday .Some babies especially girls can go on to live in the 20's and 30's. Congenital heart defects can also cause a stillbirth.
How do you find out what caused my baby's death stillborn at 24 weeks - 41 weeks
when a mum is in the delivery suite or early - mid stages of being in labour the mum to be will be checked and monitored. she will have a strap wrapped around her stomach and the wires connected to a machine it will record the contractions and another strap monitors baby. its not on all the time but at regular intervals especially if its a long dragged out labour.its a good thing as it picks up if baby's heart starts to change and shows sign that baby is in distress. if baby is later born stillborn the midwife can sometimes tell the cause as the placenta and cord are examined at the birth. The placenta is also checked to make sue some isn't left inside that can cause problems to mum too. if baby died at birth and the placenta detached as baby came out then its obvious that baby died due to lack of oxygen. Sometimes a cause isn't found when a stillborn baby is delivered. Baby can be checked over in an indepth study called an autopsy. The coroner will take little samples of some of baby's organs for further testing to determine the cause of death. Baby is then later returned to the family via the local undertaker dealing with baby's funeral arrangements. The results may come in the form of a letter a few weeks later.
what does a stillborn baby look like at birth
Depending on when baby died in the womb determines the outlook appearance of baby at birth. If it was not long before delivery here is what you can expect. A baby born stillborn is likely to be slippery due to the waters around baby in the womb,may have blood on baby and the normal white waxy like substance called vernix. A baby born stillborn Baby wont move arms and legs or kick them . A stillborn baby wont cry at birth and is born dead. A stillborn baby can have normal skin tone colour appear blue looking if baby didn't have oxygenated blood running through the arteries for a longer period of time.Baby will be lifeless and whats known as forever sleeping , he or she will never wake up. A baby that died a long time before delivery in appearance can have dark lips. skin around face may started to peal like sunburn leaving deep red patches skin. stillborn babies that have died in the womb for a few weeks will usually have crinkly looking skin like being in a bath for too long and pal skin colour. the finger nails can be darker in blue colour and the baby's little mouth can be open or closed. if open it may be harder to close but a midwife could put a dummy in if its upsetting for the family to see..
A premature baby that is born stillborn will be very small in size with very slender looking arms and legs and will have an old man type features due to the prematurity of gestation it was born at.
time for cuddles after delivering a baby born stillborn
For families that have known prior to delivery that their baby will be born stillborn have had more time to emotionally come to terms with having family cuddles when baby is finally born.making good lasting memories is at the hospital will help parents deal with grief of losing a baby.
here are 5 ways to create such memories with a baby that died and was stillborn.
- take photos even on your mobile take in detail pictures such as the size baby's feet toes even nose and ear features of baby.
- bath and dress baby even in a few outfits such as a best outfit then pyjamas.
- read baby a story sing a song or let them listen to your favourite songs on your phone.
- have a family nap together on the hospital bed.
- stay with baby as long as you want even an extra day theres no rush.