Stillbirth is when the fetes has died after the 20th week of pregnancy. This occurs 1 in 200 pregnancies with most of the stillbirths happening in full-term or close to full-term pregnancies. The experience of stillbirth can be a very traumatic phase for a pregnant woman. Although, there are several factors that contribute to stillbirth, the exact reasons are unknown and may vary from woman to woman. Being conscious of the various causes or factors that lead to stillbirths can help a pregnant woman seek appropriate treatment.
Cramping and contractions are usually associated with preterm labour, though it may also signify the likeliness of a stillbirth. Cramping that is intense and regular should be investigated by a doctor as soon as possible.
As a woman moves ahead in pregnancy, the size of her womb grows bigger, which is evident on the outside through the enlargement of the stomach. If the stomach has not been growing over the weeks, it may signal that the womb is not growing; however, a non-growing fetus does not mean that it is, in fact, stillbirth but when combined with other symptoms, if it appears as if it is stillbirth, you must consult your physician immediately.
Although, fetuses have their own active times and quiet time inside the uterus, they do not remain entirely stable for a prolonged period of time. The baby moves even more than before after the 20th week of pregnancy and the movements can be easily felt. If the mother does not feel any movement within 24 hours after drinking orange juice or a beverage that is high in sugar, it may signify stillbirth.
If on a regular checkup, your doctor is unable to detect the heartbeat of the fetus, it is perhaps time to be concerned. You might be asked to order a couple of ultrasounds to check the status of the fetus.
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