Stillborn Babies – Understanding Why

Some of the women are interested in the matter of stillborn babies. The term refers to the death of the baby in the uterus of the mother and the later birth of the baby. If the death of the baby occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy, it is known as miscarriage.

Causes of stillbirth

The best way to know why it happens is to have an autopsy of the baby. However, usually this isn’t standard procedure. You should find out about the standard procedure of your hospital in this case. Normally there is no autopsy, but you should know how you can request one.

Stillborn BabiesCommon causes of babies that are stillborn

Problems with the placenta

The women with placental abruption have higher chances of being in this situation. The same thing is true for the women who are affected by preeclampsia, a kind of high blood pressure induced by the pregnancy.

In some cases the babies don’t have enough oxygen or nutrients to survive.

Birth defects

In about 15%-20% of the cases the cause of a stillborn baby is the presence of some kind of birth defect. It is possible for the babies to have structural malformations that have nothing to do with the chromosomal abnormalities. They could be the result of environmental, genetic or unknown causes.

Growth restriction

A woman could have a baby that is stillborn if the baby is too small or doesn’t grow as he or she should. In this case the cause of death is asphyxia. This could happen before or during birth. At the moment the doctors don’t really know the exact causes of the problem.


If the mother is affected by a bacterial infection between the weeks 24 and 27 they could have a stillborn child. The sad truth is that in the majority of the cases women aren’t aware of the fact that they have some kind of infection and they aren’t diagnosed until there is some serious complication.

Other frequent causes

There are also some causes that make women have stillborn babies. These include accidents with the umbilical cord, diabetes of the mother, trauma, high blood pressure, and postdate pregnancy. This refers to the situation when the pregnancy lasts for more than 42 weeks.

Risk factors

There are some factors that increase the chances of mothers of having children that are stillborn. These include the mother being older than 35, malnutrition, smoking, not receiving proper prenatal care, and using alcohol and drugs. In the same time African-American women are more likely to be affected.


When thinking about stillborn kids women usually go to see their doctor when they notice that the baby isn’t as active as he or she should be. In order to have a diagnosis there is need for an ultrasound. In some cases this could also reveal the cause of the death of the baby.

As you can see there is a lot to know when it comes to a stillborn baby.


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