Miscarriage & Sudden Fetal Loss
More than 95% of all pregnancies are without complications and only a small percentage run into serious problems. Although I hope you never have to reach this page, here are some articles on the possible problems in pregnancy.
The information here is not meant to be medical advice. It is important that you discuss your pregnancy problems with your doctor.
About 1 in 6 pregnancies ends as a miscarriage. In most cases, there is no apparent reason. Occasionally, maternal conditions like uncontrolled diabetes, thyroid or autoimmune disease may be contributory factors. Miscarriage is never caused by eating specific foods, carrying heavy loads, doing exercise or having sexual intercourse. In short, a miscarriage is not a result of something you or your partner have or have not done during the pregnancy. Instead, a miscarriage may be Nature’s way of preventing an abnormal pregnancy from growing.
A miscarriage is sometimes diagnosed on ultrasound, when the fetal heart has stop beating. This is called a silent miscarriage. More commonly, a miscarriage is suspected when there is bleeding and cramps. When the fetal heart is still beating, the bleeding and cramps is termed as a Threatened Miscarriage. Hormonal treatment is often prescribed in a Threatened Miscarriage to support the pregnancy. However as hormonal treatment cannot prevent a miscarriage, some women with Threatened Miscarriage will miscarry. Fortunately, having one miscarriage does not increase your chance of having another miscarriage. Having one miscarriage will also not affect the outcome of your subsequent pregnancy.
Sudden Fetal Loss (Stillbirth)
The greatest tragedy in pregnancy is the death of the baby before birth.
This happens in about 0.2-0.4% of all pregnancies.
In most cases (40%), there is no known reason, even after a postmortem examination. In a small percentage (25%), uncontrolled maternal diabetes, severe infection and placenta bleeding may be the reason. Infrequently, the stillbirth is a result of abnormal development of the baby or umbilical cord accident or entanglement.
There is unfortunately no medical tests or scans, currently available to predict a stillbirth. Even regular antenatal checks can fail to prevent a fetal loss. Probably, the best “tool” to check on your baby’s well being is the feeling of your baby’s movement. Most mothers begin to feel slight baby movement from the 20th week of pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, the movement becomes more intense and should occur more than 10 times a day. If there is a drastic reduction in the fetal movement, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.