Basic information for topics, such as “What is it?” is available in the About Stillbirth section. Answers to other frequently asked questions (FAQs) specific to stillbirth are in this section.
Yes. On average, women who have a stillbirth are more likely to have another stillbirth than are women who have not had a stillbirth. Nonetheless, most women who get pregnant after a stillbirth can deliver a healthy baby.
While there are several known risk factors for stillbirth, not all of them are changeable, and just having risk factors does not mean a stillbirth will definitely occur.
In addition to the possible increased risk for another stillbirth, post-stillbirth pregnancies carry a greater risk of complications, such as cesarean delivery and low birth weight.1
Some families decide that they want to try pregnancy again after the difficult experience of a stillbirth. Many women who get pregnant after stillbirth go on to give birth to healthy babies.1
It is best to discuss the situation with a health care provider to understand any risks and concerns related to stillbirth. If a family does decide to try again, the health care provider may recommend certain actions to help minimize some changeable risks.
Stillbirths are usually not preventable, because many of the possible causes are not preventable or even detectable. However, providers may be able to intervene to prevent stillbirth if something like a problem with the umbilical cord or an infection is detected early.
Providers may recommend keeping track of fetal movements or kicks as one way to help detect a problem and allow for intervention before stillbirth occurs.
The Count the Kicks campaign offers guidance for expectant families and providers to help understand fetal movement and problems that may be detected by tracking those movements.
Please note that a lack of fetal movement is not a sure sign of stillbirth. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, please contact your health care provider.
There is no “right” way to cope with the loss of a pregnancy, no matter when it occurs. Every person deals with loss in a different way.
Many people find it helpful to talk with other families that have suffered a similar loss. Parents who have experienced stillbirth may also want to discuss their feelings with their health care provider or see a professional counselor who can help them process their feelings.
If you have experienced a stillbirth, you might want to consult the following resources: