sad question for midwives - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 02-06-2002, 12:48 AM - Thread Starter
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i just read a thread somewhere about stillborn babes, and it had me uphalf the night thinking and worrying.

my questions are:

1) how common are still births (i.e. in the number of births you have attended, how many have been born still?)


2) what causes a baby to be born still?

3) would a pregnant woman have any indicators that her babe would be stillborn earlier than the birth?

thanks so much for any insight y'all can provide. i'm sure i'm not the only worried future pregnant woman here that could benefit from the info.
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#2 of 3 Old 02-06-2002, 02:23 AM
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Ah, bunnys mama -

That surely is a sad question ... I've only attended about 300 births, and in that time, only 2 were stillborn (that is, right before they were supposed to be born) - one of them my own. I couldn't tell you the "national statistic", but truly I believe that most of us get here just fine.

Causes?? Of those two, no one could give any physical explanation at all as to why that happened. Sometimes, there are obvious reasons - like the baby had severe problems and just couldn't make it to birth. (Oh, a side point, only 3% of ALL pregnancies have birth defects.)Or the mom had health concerns that just wouldn't let a healthy baby develop.

For myself, I believe that my son didn't need to be born into this life, into that body. He taught me some powerful lessons about trust and letting go, and although I can't say I know this, he's with us now as our second child. And that's the most hopeful thing I can think of when there are unexplained/unexplainable stillbirths; that their lives served some purpose even though we didn't get to know them as they grew up.

The bridge between life and death is so thin at the moment of birth - but here we are!

If you are worried or in pain over this subject, I wish you peace and hope for the future


mama to Jacob, 10/23/98, Noah, 10/25/99 and EDD of ??/4/02
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#3 of 3 Old 02-06-2002, 04:36 AM
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My sister is a midwife and has attended around 500 births. She has never had a baby born still.

Some good friends of mine had a baby who died during labor. They don't know why, the doctor doesn't know why. One minute his heart tones were fine, the next minute were not there. Everything was normal up until then as far as they could tell. Most of her labor was at home, it was planning to be a homebirth, but they ended up transporting her because she was progressing so slowly. He died very shortly after she reached the hospital and had just been hooked up to a fetal monitor. He was overdue, but the doctor said the placenta looked fine. They opted not to have an autopsy. They had another child about a year later and his birth and he were fine. Some things we will never understand.

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