The Causes Of Stillbirth
A large proportion of stillbirths occur in healthy babies and the cause is often unexplained.
The causes of stillbirth
Poor placental function
Some cases have been linked to complications of the placenta, for a number of reasons that the placenta (organ that supplies blood and nourishes the fetus) does not function properly.
Poor placental function can be the direct or indirect cause of stillbirth, fetal cessation of development and stillbirth with a fully formed but quite small form.
Other causes of stillbirths or related to fetuses include:
Bleeding (hemorrhage) before or during labor
Premature detachment - placenta peeling off the uterus before the baby is born (with symptoms of bleeding and abdominal pain)
Pre-eclampsia - cause of hypertension in pregnant women.
Problems with the umbilical cord - it may get into the vagina before the baby is born (umbilical cord prolapse), or it may wrap around the fetus and cause a knot.
Cholestasis in the liver during pregnancy (ICP) or Cholestasis causes itching - characteristic of liver dysfunction during pregnancy.
Genetic physical defect in children.
Infections in pregnant women can affect the fetus.
About 1/10 cases of infection cause stillbirth. The most common form of infection is vaginal infection. Bacteria like streptococcus group B, escherichia coli (E.coli), klebsiella, enterococcus, haemophilus influenza, chlamydia and mycoplasma or ureaplasma.
Some infections, such as chlamydia and mycoplasma or ureaplasma, are sexually transmitted, which can be prevented by using protective methods, such as condoms.
Other infections that cause stillbirth include:
Rubella - commonly known as German measles.
Influenza - seasonal flu vaccinations are recommended for all women during any stage of pregnancy
Parvovirus B19 - the cause of slapped cheek syndrome, a common infection in young children, that is dangerous for pregnant women.
Coxsackie virus - the cause of hand-foot-mouth disease in humans
Cytomegalovirus - a virus that usually spreads through body fluids, such as saliva or urine, often causes some symptoms in pregnant women.
Herpes simplex - the virus that causes cold sores.
Listeriosis - infection usually develops after eating food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria).
Leptospirosis - infections spread by animals like rats.
Lyme disease - infection caused by the bite of a tick.
Q fever - bacterial infection from animals such as sheep, goats and cows.
Toxoplasmosis - an infection caused by a parasite found in soil or cat droppings.
Malaria - a dangerous tropical disease caused by mosquito bites.
The danger elements
There are several factors that increase the risk of stillbirth, including:
Twins or multiple twins.
The fetus does not achieve the necessary growth in the uterus.
Greater than 35 years old.
Smoking, drinking alcohol or drugs during pregnancy.
Obesity (with a BMI over 30)
There is a previous underlying pathology, such as epilepsy.
Monitoring the development of the fetus
The midwife will check the development and health of the fetus at each antenatal visit and chart the fetal development to make sure the baby is developing.
Every fetus is different and grows according to their normal size (some naturally small babies). However, all fetuses continue to develop steadily throughout pregnancy.
If the fetus is smaller than expected, or the developmental chart declines with gestational age, the placenta may not function properly, increasing the risk of stillbirth.
The development of the fetus should be monitored during prenatal check-up. However, it is important for women to pay attention to fetal delivery to detect abnormalities early.
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