Stillbirth is a rare case, but it happens. It is a painful and traumatic experience for both the parents. Stillbirth is defined as fetal death at or after 20 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. It results in a baby born without signs of life. According to Wikipedia, stillbirth can result in the feeling of guilt in the mother (which in most cases is true).
Miscarriage, stillbirth and live birth are different from one another. Stillbirth is the loss of a full grown baby or an almost full grown baby in its mother’s womb. Miscarriage is an early pregnancy loss of fetus and live birth is where the baby is born alive, even if it dies shortly after.
Let me tell you a truth. You will never forget it. No amount of consolation will work when you lose your child. It is as painful as losing a grown up child, only the parents who experienced it would understand how it feels. You will always bear this pain as long as you live, no matter how many children you have later. The pain of losing your child will always stay with you. And you will burst into tears wherever you are, the moment you remember that child that you could not have. This is the truth. So, let’s face it and get strong. You will not be able to forget it. But life goes on and you have to be strong. People don’t understand. It is not their fault as they did not experience it. So , forgive them. They will bring the same topic and will want to hear about the details of the accident from you…how it happened, when, what exactly happened, why. Some people (among your relatives) may make insensible comments, even. Disregard. Remember, it is not your fault. There is nothing that you could do, to make it not happen. And what happened, happened. It cannot be undone. We are humans, we have no control over life and death. And God can give, and He can take away. Accept it.
When you plan for another baby there are some factors you must be careful and cautious about::
We are discussing Important Facts for Parents Who Experienced A Stillbirth.
Time difference or gap between previous pregnancy and the future pregnancy: As per the doctor’s opinion, the time gap may be at least 6- 8 months or a year between two pregnancy. As the mother’s both physical and mental health needs to be healed. Though within 6-8 months physically she may be capable of having another child, but mentally she not be ready. It is best to make a decision for parents after having a thorough discussion about the future pregnancy.
Age: If you are 35 (and over )you must be overly careful, as it’s a high risk pregnancy considering age factor. Mothers who are over 30 and had stillbirth before, should be careful as well considering the age and the history of stillbirth.
Monitoring: If you have had a previous stillbirth, future pregnancies should be monitored closely so that all necessary steps can be taken to prevent another pregnancy loss.
Buy a Doppler machine: It’s very important if you had a history of stillbirth. It helps you monitor the babys heart rate at home. You can do it anytime. Doppler machines may be found at the pharmacy section of Shoppers’ drug mart (Canada), Walmart and reliable pharmacies.
Ultrasound : Have ultrasounds at the last stages of pregnancy. 3 ultrasounds in the whole pregnancy course won’t do harm (when you have a history of stillbirth or miscarriage) . Do not have an ultrasound at the very early stage (1st trimester) of pregnancy. It can be avoided. Some babies are playful, some are not. Some are more playful than others. Different babies show different characteristics and responsiveness when they are in mother’s womb. During the last months of pregnancy, when the babies move a lot, they have a chance to get the nuchal cord wrapped around their necks. Some babies are born with the nuchal cord loosely wrapped around neck. While if unfortunate, the cord may get tightly wrapped around the baby and suffocate it to death.
An ultrasound can detect if the nuchal cord gets around the babies’ necks and if lucky can prevent such accidents before it gets fatal and kills the baby.
Pay attention to the babies’ responsiveness: Readily responsiveness and a tendency of cuddling with its mother and connecting with her is an expression of emotional intelligence and it’s a trait of highly intellectual babies. ( My baby would always keep its head right under my palm, each time I touched my belly he would respond to me.) Pay attention to that.
You will see some babies hardly respond to their mother’s touch (when the mother touch their lower abdomen with a hope to make a contact with the baby), their mothers wait so patiently for the baby to respond to them, while some babies are always responsive to their mothers’ touch.
Kick count : You can keep the track of the kick count of a baby. It is like, counting, in one hour how many times the baby kicks. It can be a way to understand babies’ condition but it is not a reliable way. Because some babies does not move at all during the pregnancy cycle. Some babies are quiet and do not like moving when they are in mothers’ womb. So, you cannot depend of kick count all the time. It is an unscientific and unreliable way. Babies’ mood may vary time to time.
Parents’ relationship: The father must be very careful, understanding and caring during the time of pregnancy. The father must keep his temper cool and must be helpful to his wife throughout the time of pregnancy. He must not misbehave with the wife. On the contrary, he must be attentive to her timely food intake, exercise, health and hygiene. The parents must have a good relationship.
Mother’s psychological health: The mother must not be depressed, tensed, stressed and sad. Her mind and mood affects the health of the baby.
Drug, alcohol and smoking: Mother must not take drugs, alcohol and must not smoke during the whole time of pregnancy. If the father is a smoker, he must not smoke in front of his pregnant wife.
Nutrition: Mother must eat nutritious and ideal food and right proportion of food is important during the pregnancy.
Diabetes and High blood Pressure: Mothers who have diabetes and high blood pressure, or has the history of these in their family have to be careful. They must control the sugar, oil and salt intake and keep track of it.
Appointment with Doctor and regular check up: The pregnant mother should be under regular check up as it is a high risk pregnancy.
Here are some important links to resourceful sites that will give you more information about stillbirth and cautiousness during the next plan for pregnancy.