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Posted by Jeanne
on March 11, 2000 at 11:52:53:
In Reply to: StillBirth posted by M.B.Smalls on March 10, 2000 at 22:45:47:
I am very sorry to hear of your niece's terrible loss. My prayers go out to her. Stillbirth can be caused by many things, but often no cause is ever found. Some of the causes include:
-a baby with chromosomal abnormality like an extra number 13, 18 or 21 chromosome. They can try to send tissue from the baby to see if they can grow a few cells and determine this. If the baby has been dead for a while chromosomes often do not grow.
-a genetic syndrome that is sometimes difficult to diagnose unless a genetic expert examines the baby after birth.
-viral infection of the baby (eg.parvovirus, cytomegalovirus) which may cause heart failure. They can usually see this after the baby is born because the baby would be very swollen. This can also be seen on ultrasound before the baby is born.
-a cord accident...sometimes there is a knot in the cord or the cord somehow gets twisted enough to cut off the circulation to the baby. Sometimes if doctors don't have any other explanation they seem to use this.
-An abnormal placenta that doesn't nourish the baby as it should. Usually these babies are pretty tiny due to lack of blood supply.
These are just some of the causes. Our state (Wisconsin) has a stillbirth protocol that helps to sometimes give the family an answer. Hopefully your niece will be able to get some answers but often parents never know the cause for this heartbreaking loss. There are many great support groups out there to help in dealing with this very difficult situation. Best wishes.
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