Common Causes of Stillbirth

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The loss of pregnancy for whatever reason is a pathetic experience for any pregnant woman. Stillbirth is the delivery of a baby who is born without any signs of life at or after 20 weeks pregnancy or weighing more than 500g.It is greeted with physical and emotional trauma.

One of the causes of stillbirth is placental disorder with placental disruption being the most common form. It is condition where there is partial or full separation from the uterine wall prior to delivery which is usually associated with heavy bleeding with serious effect on the life of both the mother and the fetus. The risk factor for this condition is cigarette smoking and high consumption of alcohol as well as drug intake.

In addition to the above, defective fetal growth is another cause of stillbirth. This is condition where the fetal growth is restricted or the growth of the fetus is too slow. Pre-eclampsia and smoking increase the risk of having still birth. The doctor can make use of an ultrasound to discover poor fetal growth and monitor the pregnancy closely.

Furthermore, injury involving the umbilical cord can also lead to stillbirth. Such injuries include a knot in the cord and abnormal placement of the cord into the placenta which prevent the supply of needed oxygen to the baby.

More importantly, the presence of infections in the mother, baby or placenta can bring about stillbirths. If the infections are not diagnosed and no symptoms like urinary tract infection is seem in pregnant woman, it can lead to severe complications such as fetal death or preterm birth.

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Similarly, an unhealthy pregnant woman has a higher risk of having stillbirth as chronic maternal health conditions such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and kidney disease primarily lead to poor fetal growth or placental abruption. Although, as a result of advancement in medicine, stillbirth deaths linked to maternal health conditions have greatly reduced.

Baby with chromosomal abnormality such as down syndrome can also result in still birth.

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