Your TTC Strategy 9: Understand Pregnancy Loss
What you should know in advance about ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage
Pregnancy Loss Resources
When parents hear the heartbreaking news that their baby has died before being born, their grief can be overwhelming. In a few brief moments, they go from happy anticipation of their baby’s birth to the intense pain of confronting his death.
When fetal death occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy but before delivery, it is called stillbirth or intrauterine fetal demise. These tragic deaths occur in about one in 200 pregnancies. A small number of stillbirths occur during labor and delivery.
There are a diverse range of conditions associated with stillbirth including infection, congenital abnormalities, Rh incompatibility, umbilical cord accidents, placenta problems, and difficulties with vaginal delivery.
The pregnant woman may suspect that something is wrong if the fetus suddenly stops moving around and kicking, there is spotting or bleeding, or there is intense abdominal pain.
Stillbirth is very difficult for parents and other family members. It is sometimes harder than a miscarriage because it happens later in pregnancy when the fetus has developed and the mother has felt movement. Often, the fetus is fully formed and is delivered just as any baby. It may be very hard emotionally for a woman to go through labor, yet not have a baby to take home. Counseling is important for all parents with a stillbirth to help them understand their feelings and begin the work of grieving.
It is hard to trust again; it is hard to hope again. While there are not always answers as to why pregnancy loss has occurred, it is important to remember that pregnancy loss is not your fault and very likely will not happen again.
We hope you find comfort, support, and information in the following resources:
- Understanding Pregnancy Loss
- Memorializing Your Infant after Miscarriage or Stillbirth
- BabyZone Community: Pregnancy Loss
- Talk with Other Moms: Parenting after Pregnancy Loss
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