When Texans are expecting, there are likely to be many anxieties surrounding
the upcoming due date. All mothers hope their newborn will be happy and
healthy. Most of the time, this is exactly what happens across the state
of Texas. However, at times, there may be complications before or during
the delivery process. In some tragic instances, birth injuries may result
and change the lives of mother and child forever.
One heart-wrenching situation that can happen before, at or after a due
date is a stillbirth. Defined as death of the fetus at or after 20 weeks
into the pregnancy, a stillbirth can understandably bring forth tremendous
despair. Out of every 160 pregnancies in the U.S., about one will result
in a stillbirth. While that figure may seem small, it is far too high
for the parents of the approximately 26,000 stillborn babies each year.
What can be done to lessen a baby’s chances of being stillborn? It’s
important to know that sometimes a stillborn is out of everyone’s
control, while at times it may be the result of a negligent doctor or
complications during pregnancy. In general, risk factors for a stillbirth
include being pregnant with multiples, having had a stillbirth in the
past, a pregnant woman who is age 40 or older, having type AB blood or
having diabetes. Additional risk factors include being overweight or having
a past history of smoking in the months prior to conception.
Addressing these risk factors often entails obtaining solid prenatal care
as early as possible. Once these and other risk factors are observed,
an expecting woman’s doctor must monitor the pregnancy appropriately
from them on.