Alternate Names : Intrauterine Fetal Death
What can be done to prevent the condition?
Prevention is sometimes possible, by avoiding certain pregnancy risk factors.
Women can avoid rubella by making sure that they receive the rubella vaccine, part of an MMR immunization.
Avoiding raw meat and not working with cats may prevent toxoplasmosis.
Frequent hand washing can keep a pregnant woman from getting certain infections.
Not using cocaine and not smoking during pregnancy can help prevent cases of stillbirth that are caused by the placenta separating from the womb too early.
Controlling diabetes in the mother can reduce the risk of stillbirth from diabetes.
What are the long-term effects of the condition?
The long-term effects are often psychological. The parents can be devastated by the loss of the baby. Some may grieve for months or even years.
A baby that is not delivered shortly after death can cause physical problems in the mother as well. These problems include infections of the uterus and problems with blood clotting, a serious problem known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC.
Other long-term effects are related to the cause of the stillbirth. For example, autoimmune disorders can cause damage to different parts of the mother's body, such as the kidneys, brain, and skin. Diabetes also affects many different organs, such as the kidneys, heart, and nerves.
What are the risks to others?
A stillbirth is not contagious. In rare cases, the infection that caused the stillbirth can be contagious, such as rubella, fifth disease, and cytomegalovirus.