Alternate Names : Intrauterine Fetal Death
What are the treatments for the condition?
If a woman has delivered the baby, she is observed briefly to make sure she is stable. If a woman has not yet delivered, medications are often given to cause delivery. In some cases, a woman may simply be observed for a brief period to see if she delivers on her own. Many women prefer that labor be induced right away. The baby may be delivered by cesarean section if medications fail to start labor.
Any infection or blood-clotting problem is treated if necessary. This may involve antibiotics for an infection, or blood transfusions or blood-thinning medications for clotting problems.
Emotional support is also given as needed.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
The side effects depend on the treatment given to a mother who has a stillbirth.
Medications used to induce labor may cause salt imbalances, abdominal distress, or even a tear in the uterus.
Antibiotics may cause allergic reactions or stomach upset.
A cesarean section, like any surgery, carries a risk of bleeding or infection.
Blood transfusions may cause allergic reactions or infections.
Blood-thinning medications may cause abnormal bleeding or allergic reactions.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Once the baby is delivered and the mother is stable, an attempt is made to determine the cause of the stillbirth. This may include blood tests or tissue samples taken from the mother's vagina, cervix, or uterus. In addition, an autopsy of the baby may be done if the parents permit it. An autopsy is a thorough inspection of a dead body that may reveal a cause of death.
How is the condition monitored?
The woman is often monitored briefly in the hospital after delivery of a stillborn infant. The monitoring may include blood tests. The woman can go home once she is physically and emotionally stable. Further monitoring depends on the cause of the stillbirth, if one is known. For example, a woman with diabetes needs lifelong monitoring of her blood sugar levels.