Chromosomal anomalies are responsible for about 60 percent of early miscarriages and are less frequently the cause of stillbirth. The March of Dimes states, "Between five and 10 percent of stillborn babies have abnormalities involving their chromosomes, the tiny thread-like structures in each cell that carry our genes." In contrast, only two to three percent of liveborn infants have chromosomal abnormalities, write Douglas and Dr. Sussman.
Maternal Health Problems
"Certain types of medical conditions can increase a pregnant woman's chances of experiencing stillbirth," write Douglas and Dr. Sussman. The fact that a woman begins a pregnancy with one of the following problems—or develops it while pregnant—in no way means that she won't have a healthy baby. It simply necessitates careful monitoring of the pregnancy.
The following maternal health problems are most often associated with stillbirth:
- Diabetes (Type I, Type II, and gestational)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Heart disease
- Kidney/Liver/Lung disease
- Parathyroid disease
- Sickle-cell disease
- Blood clotting disorders