What Causes Stillbirth
A stillbirth can occur without a concrete reason. The infant mortality rate in Kenya stands at 35 still births per 1000 live births. Contributing factors to stillbirths include:
- If the placenta is knotted and is around the baby’s neck
- If the mother gets infections like rubella, flu or Lyme disease
- A birth defect
- Environmental factors like exposure to pesticides or carbon monoxide
- Intrauterine growth restrictions
- Trauma to the mother during pregnancy
How Can You Prevent Stillbirths?
Several steps can be taken to prevent the occurrence of stillbirths. Government antenatal clinics are taking steps to ensure that babies are born alive. These measures include:
- Availing mobile clinics in far flung areas
- Insisting on strict attendance of all antenatal clinics
- Avoiding any drugs or alcohol during pregnancy
- Practicing proper hygiene during pregnancy like washing all fruits and vegetables
- Monitoring your baby’s movement and reporting any changes to your doctor
- Avoiding certain foods
What Are the Warning Signs of Stillbirth?
Being aware of your pregnancy will play an important part here. These signs necessitate an immediate visit to your doctor:
- If you baby movement patterns change.
- If you have pain passing urine
- If you have fever
- If you have any itching or rash
- If you experience bleeding
- If your vision becomes blurred or you see colors in patches.
- If you have a gut feeling that something is wrong.
If it is suspected that you baby has indeed died you doctor may use an ultrasound to try and check for the baby’s heartbeat. A handheld doppler device may also be used.
How is the Baby Delivered?
The baby in normal circumstances will be delivered naturally unless a reason exist to perform a C-section. Your doctor may wait for labor to begin on its own or choose to induce labor.
After the baby is delivered you may request to see your baby. You can choose to wait until your baby is wrapped up and cleaned or you can see them immediately after birth.
Proper support system is needed for both parents during this time.
Please note that development differs from one child to another.
Content intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019