Desert Perinatal Associates

Perinatologists located in Las Vegas, NV & Henderson, NV

The tragedy of stillbirth affects about 1% of pregnancies in the United States. Another small number of women experience death, or demise, of the fetus while in the womb. The team of expert perinatal specialists at Desert Perinatal Associates are available to help you through these devastating events. Call one of the offices in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada, if you’re concerned about stillbirth or fetal demise.

Fetal Demise & Stillbirth Q & A

What is considered a stillbirth?

Loss of a baby at any point can be a terrible event for a mother and family. Miscarriage is generally defined as the loss of a baby before the 20th week of pregnancy. If you lose the baby after 20 weeks, it’s usually defined as a stillbirth.

A stillbirth can happen at different points in pregnancy. An early stillbirth occurs between weeks 20 and 27 of pregnancy. A late stillbirth occurs between weeks 28 and 36. Stillbirths that occur after week 37 are considered term stillbirths.

What causes a stillbirth?

Oftentimes, the reason a mother experiences a stillbirth isn’t understood. Stillbirth occurs because the baby had an event during the pregnancy or birth that caused its death. Usually, stillbirths happen due to:

  • Birth defects or genetic problems
  • Issues with the umbilical cord or placenta
  • Conditions in the mother, such as high blood pressure, obesity, or uncontrolled diabetes

Although modern technology has greatly improved the quality of prenatal care and reduced the number of late and term stillbirths, the rate of early stillbirths (or fetal demise) remains about the same over time.

How do I know if I am at risk of having a stillbirth?

Stillbirth can affect any woman, no matter her age, ethnicity, or income level. Some women are at a greater risk of having a stillborn baby. Risk factors include:

  • Black race
  • Being younger than 20 or older than 35
  • Obesity
  • Being pregnant with multiples
  • Smoking

If you’ve lost a baby in a previous pregnancy or have certain medical conditions, you’re also at a higher risk, and the team at Desert Perinatal Associates will take extra steps to protect you during pregnancy.

Can I have a healthy baby after experiencing a stillbirth?

Most women who experience stillbirth can still have a healthy pregnancy. The chance of having another stillbirth is quite low – less than 1%.

After you’ve given yourself ample time to heal both physically and emotionally, you may elect certain testing to determine the reason why you experienced a stillbirth. Other strategies that help you prevent having a stillbirth in a future pregnancy include:

  • A preconception checkup
  • Treatment for any existing medical conditions
  • Achieving a healthy weight prior to getting pregnant
  • Avoiding alcohol, smoking, and other substances

If you have a history of having stillbirths or concerns about experiencing one, call the office.