When Pregnancy Ends in Loss
There is a lot of information available on the internet on pregnancy loss, risk factors, and what is safe in pregnancy. We sincerely hope you are being seen by a care provider regularly and already are an expert at Googling everything pregnancy and baby related to ensure the best outcome for your pregnancy. We highly recommend the British organization Tommy’s website as an excellent resource.
The causes of stillbirth are often unknown. All races, income levels, and ethnicities experience stillbirth. There are only some things under a woman’s control that she can do to improve the chances of having a healthy baby.
Do not smoke.
Get to know your baby’s normal pattern of movements.
There is no set number of normal movements you should be feeling – every baby is different. Your baby will have their own pattern of movements that you should get to know and every pregnancy/baby is different.
From 18-24 weeks on you should feel the baby move more and more. After 32 weeks, the movements will stay roughly the same until you give birth.
- It is NOT TRUE that babies move less towards the end of pregnancy.
- You should CONTINUE to feel your baby move right up to the time you go into labor and during labor.
- DO NOT WAIT until the next day to seek advice if you are worried about your baby’s movements.
- Contact your care provider if you think your baby’s movements have slowed down, stopped or changed. Do not worry about calling. It is important for your doctors and midwives to know if your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped.
- Ask about the need for a non-stress test (for at least 20 minutes) and biophysical profile
The most recent research was NOT able to show that fetal kick counting improved outcomes or prevented stillbirth. This subject continues to be debated.
Going to sleep on your side in the third trimester
Research has shown that going to sleep on your side in the third trimester is safer for baby. This includes night sleep and daytime naps.
Researchers do not know for certain what exactly is causing the increased risk of stillbirth, but we already know the following, which could play a part:
- When sleeping/lying on your back the baby and womb put pressure on your vena cava, the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from your lower body and the main blood vessels that supply the uterus and this can restrict blood flow/oxygen to the baby.
- Further recent studies have shown that when a woman lies on her back in late
pregnancy (compared to lying on side) the baby is less active and has changes in heart-rate patterns. This is thought to be due to lower oxygen levels in the baby when the mother lies on her back
Fall asleep on your side. If you wake up on your back, just roll back on to your side.IN general, most pregnant women will not sleep on their backs and indeed feel light -headed and nauseated when they do. It is a natural thing to not tolerate the uterus compressing the vena cava. Do not panic if you awaken on your back. Simply, turn to your side and pay attention to your baby’s movements. IF you are concerned, call and be seen as soon as you can.
Make your care provider listens to you
Research has shown that:
- 57% of women felt they were not listened to
- 83% of moms’ intuition was correct