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The Loss of Your Baby...

Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Birth Loss, SIDS

Miscarriage ~ < 20 wk loss of the embryo or fetus


Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently, generally defined as prior to 20 weeks of gestation. Miscarriage is the most common complication of early pregnancy. It is estimated that up to half of all fertilized eggs die and are lost (aborted)

spontaneously, usually before the 

woman knows she is pregnant. Among those women who know they are pregnant, the miscarriage rate is about

15-20%. Most miscarriages occur during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy.

The rate of miscarriage drops after a heart beat is detected.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors


Most miscarriages are caused by chromosome problems that make it impossible for the baby to develop.

Usually, these problems are unrelated to the mother or father's genes.

Other possible causes for miscarriage include:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Hormone problems
  • Infection
  • Obesity
  • Physical problems with the mother's reproductive organs
  • Problem with the body's immune response
  • Serious body-wide ( systemic) diseases in the mother (such as uncontrolled diabetes)
  • Smoking


Stillbirth ~ 20 wk+ loss of the fetus or unborn baby

Stillbirth is the death of a fetus while still inside the uterus. Medically referred to as IUFD or Intrauterine Fetal Demise, stillbirth is more common than we might think. Most stillbirths

occur in full term pregnancy.

Causes of Stillbirth
The causes of a large percentage of stillbirth remain unknown, even in cases where extensive testing and autopsy have been performed. A rarely used term to describe these cases is: Sudden Antenatal Death Syndrome, or SADS

(coined by Cacciatore & Collins in 2000).

In cases where the cause IS known, some possibilities of fetal death are:

  • bacterial infection
  • birth defects, especially pulmonary hypoplasia
  • chromosomal aberrations or anomolies
  • growth retardation/restriction
  • intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy
  • maternal diabetes
  • high blood pressure, pregnancy induced hypertention (PIH), preeclampsia, HELLP syndrome, and eclampsia
  • recreational drug use (such as alcohol, nicotine, etc.) or pharmaceutical drugs contraindicated in pregnancy
  • postdate pregnancy
  • placental abruption
  • physical trauma
  • radiation poisoning
  • Rh disease
  • umbilical cord accidents

Intrapartum Fetal Demise & Birth Loss

The death of a baby inutero (inside the womb) during labor or delivery is called an intrapartum fetal demise and the death of a baby at or immediately after birth (within the first week) is referred to an a neonatal demise. Learn more about perinatal mortality here on Wikipedia.

Loss & Grief ~ When a Baby Dies

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome ~ SIDS

SIDS is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. (Willinger et al, 1991)

In a typical situation parents check on their supposedly sleeping infant to find him or her dead.
This is the worst tragedy parents can face, a tragedy which leaves them with a sadness and a feeling of vulnerability that lasts throughout their lives. Since medicine can not tell them why their baby died, they blame themselves and often
other innocent people.
Their lives and those around
them are changed forever.

There ARE things you can do do REDUCE
risk of a SIDS related tragedy.
Read and Learn !

In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released its first policy statement on reducing the risk of SIDS. The statement recommended that all healthy infants be placed on their backs to sleep in order to reduce the risks of SIDS.

Shortly thereafter, the NICHD joined with the AAP, the SIDS Alliance (now First Candle/ SIDS Alliance), the Association of SIDS and Infant Mortality Programs, and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of HRSA to launch the Back to Sleep campaign to help inform all parents and infant care givers about the importance of back sleeping. Since then, the percentage of infants placed on their backs to sleep has increased dramatically, and the rates of SIDS have declined by more than 50 percent.

Spring for SIDS

National Fundraiser &

SIDS Awareness Day
in April of every year.

The seven SIDS risk-lowering steps:

  1.   Give your baby a healthy womb environment.

  2.   Do not allow smoke around your baby.

  3.   Put your baby to sleep on his back, not on his


  4.   Breastfeed your baby.

  5.   Give your baby a safe sleeping environment.

  6.   Avoid overheating your baby during sleep.

  7.   Practice "high-touch" attachment parenting.

  • Put your baby on his/her Back To Sleep.
  • Baby should be dressed warm, not over-bundled.
  • Use only one blanket.
  • Do not use pillows, stuffed animals or other cloth items in the crib.

One study shows that the baby using a pacifier reduces the incidence of SIDS.

Articles, Links & Resources:

Founded in 1983, the American SIDS Institute, a national nonprofit health care organization, is dedicated to the prevention of sudden infant death and the promotion of infant health through an aggressive, comprehensive nationwide program of:

  • Research about both the cause of sudden infant death and methods of prevention.

  • Clinical Services assisting pediatricians in the medical management of high risk infants.

  • Education about prevention methods aimed at the public and medical community.

  • Family Support providing crises phone counseling, grief literature and referrals.

  Helping Babies Survive & Thrive

  First Candle 
is an organization dedicated to helping 
expectant & new parents
  and support for those who have lost a precious child.

     National Institute of Child Health and Safety
   NICHD's "SAFE to SLEEP" Campaign

     Placing babies on their backs to sleep reduces the risk of
     Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a.k.a. "crib death."
     This campaign has been successful in promoting infant
     back sleeping to parents, family members, child care
     providers, health professionals, and all other caregivers
     of infants.

   Toxic Gas Theory

     Learn how wrapping your baby's crib mattress may reduce 
     the possibility of SIDS.

SIDS is known in Britain & New Zealand as "Cot Death".

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Cell: (832) 942-8234
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