Stillbirth refers to the death of fetus after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirths usually happen before a woman goes into labor.
Stillbirth may be caused by:
- Chromosomal disorders
- Poor fetal growth
- Complications of pregnancy with more than one fetus
- High blood pressure or other conditions in the mother
- The mother has Rh-negative blood and fetus has Rh-positive blood—Rh incompatibility
- The umbilical cord descends into the vagina too early and cuts of oxygen to the fetus—umbilical cord prolapse
- A loop or knot in the umbilical cord
- The placenta separates from the uterus before the fetus is delivered—placental abruption
- The placenta becomes implanted near or over the cervix—placenta previa
In many cases, the cause is unknown.
Last reviewedAugust 2014by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.