Stillbirth is the sudden death of a growing fetus in the womb after week 20 of the mother’s pregnancy. The reasons go unexplained for almost one-third of the cases. However, the other two-third may be caused by problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, high blood pressure, infections, congenital disabilities, or poor lifestyle choices.
Rarely, the baby may die during the time of labour. Although prenatal care of pregnancy has considerably improved over the years, the reality is stillbirths still happen and often go unexplained. As per the National Health Policy, IMR of the country was 33 per 1,000 births and is highest when compared to other nations.
What Needs To Be Done?
The causes of stillbirths are, at times unknown. A stillbirth occurs in families irrespective of ethnicities, races, and to the women of all ages. But there are necessities that a woman can do before and during pregnancy to lower the risk of infant loss:
- Monitor the baby’s pattern of movements. These movements help us recognise if they become unwell, indeed.
- Active or passive smoking has a tremendous effect on stillbirths. Quitting or tarrying away from the smoke during the first trimester itself has shown promising improvements in pregnancy care.
- Always prefer to sleep on side during the third trimester of pregnancy. This includes, day time naps and regular night sleeps.
Key Moments to Understand Baby Movements
There are some key elements to remember about a baby’s progress:
- Babies DO NOT move less towards the end of the pregnancy. It is a misconception to avoid.
- Never use any hand-held monitors, or phone apps to check your baby’s heartbeat.
- You’ll feel the movements of your baby until you go into labour, and throughout your labour as well.
Role of Prenatal and Antenatal care
Prenatal and antenatal care plays a vital role in recognising, treating and preventing pregnancy care. They tremendously help you in keeping an eye on the baby’s growth and improvements. These visits also play an essential role in recognising the emergency pregnancy conditions like pre-eclampsia and urinary tract infections which cause adverse effects on the baby.
*Information shared here is for general purpose. Please take doctors’ advice before making any decision.