Posts Tagged ‘preventing stillbirths’

Pregnancy loss: Will it happen again?

Friday, March 9th, 2018

The loss of a pregnancy or a baby is one of the most difficult experiences. Whether you had a miscarriage, stillbirth or your baby died soon after birth, it’s normal to have mixed feelings about a future pregnancy. Some women may want to start trying getting pregnant as soon as possible, while others may prefer to wait. Will it happen again? – is a common question many women ask themselves when thinking about getting pregnant again.

Trying to get pregnant again after a baby’s death may be really stressful for you. Here are few things you can do:

  • Share your feelings with your partner about getting pregnant again. Your partner may feel differently about getting pregnant again, but you and your partner are the only ones who can decide what’s right for you.
  • Try to be hopeful. Remind yourself that every pregnancy and baby are different. Just because you’ve had a baby die doesn’t mean it will happen in your next pregnancy.
  • If you work, talk to your boss about how to reduce the stress at your job.
  • Talk to your provider or a counselor about ways you can reduce stress.
  • Go to your preconception checkup to make sure you’re healthy. Being healthy when you get pregnant can help you have a healthy pregnancy.
  • Eat healthy foods, drink lots of water and do something active every day. Try to get a full night’s sleep.
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs.

How long to wait before getting pregnant again?

For most women, it’s best to wait at least 18 months (1½ years) from the end of one pregnancy before getting pregnant again. This gives your body enough time to recover before your next pregnancy.

Not all women can wait 18 months between pregnancies. Talk to your provider about how long to wait between pregnancies if:

  • You’re older than 35.
  • You’ve had a miscarriage or stillbirth. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

When you’re ready to try again

The best thing you can do to help you have a healthy pregnancy next time is to take good care of yourself. Before your next pregnancy:

  • Get a preconception checkup. This is a medical checkup you get before pregnancy to help make sure you’re healthy when you get pregnant.
  • Take a vitamin supplement every day with 400 micrograms of folic acid in it. Folic acid is a vitamin that every cell in your body needs for healthy growth and development. If you take it before pregnancy and during early pregnancy, it can help protect your baby from birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects, birth defects of the mouth called cleft lip and palate and some heart defects.
  • Get to a healthy weight. Eat healthy foods and do something active every day. Talk to your provider about the right weight for you.
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs. Talk to your provider if you need help to quit.

For more information

  • From hurt to healing (free booklet from the March of Dimes for grieving parents)
  • Share Your Story (March of Dimes online community for families to share experiences with prematurity, birth defects or loss)

Ending preventable stillbirths

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

lancet 1-19 stillbirth (002)It is impossible to put in to words the unimaginable pain a family experiences when a stillbirth occurs. The loss and void it creates can never be filled. Even in today’s world, stillbirths happen far too often.

Stillbirth is when a baby dies in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy (although in some parts of the world the gestational age varies).

Did you know…


  • At least 2.6 million babies are stillborn every year.
  • Almost 50% of stillbirths occur during labor – 1.3 million each year.
  • Every day, 7,300 women lose their babies due to stillbirth in the last 3 months of pregnancy.
  • Two-thirds of all stillbirths occur in 10 countries.

In the U.S.:

  • Stillbirth affects about 23,600 babies each year.

What’s being done?

The Lancet, the prominent British Journal, has just launched a Series, “Ending Preventable Stillbirths” which spotlights the serious problem of stillbirth. They also offer much hope: one in four stillbirths could be prevented by increasing access to interventions. By knowing specific risk factors and providing women with targeted prenatal care, the rates of stillbirth can be decreased. The Series’ goal is 12 or fewer stillbirths per 1,000 births in every country by 2030.

The March of Dimes joins our many colleagues in support of The Lancet Series. Edward R.B. McCabe, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at the March of Dimes says “The targeting of modifiable risk factors in adolescence and before and during pregnancy identified in the Series—including maternal infections such as malaria and syphilis, non-communicable diseases, nutrition and lifestyle factors, advanced maternal age and prolonged pregnancy—have the potential not only to prevent stillbirth, but also to reduce death and disability from a range of other causes that share these same risks.”

To learn more about stillbirths, including risk factors, treatments, causes, tests after the birth, and whether you can have a healthy baby after having had a stillbirth, see our article.

The Lancet Series is the start of a much needed path to reducing preventable stillbirths. So many moms, dads, babies and families will be forever grateful.

Note: The March of Dimes receives many emails from women who have suffered a stillbirth. We offer bereavement materials to families in an effort to help them cope with their loss. If you or someone you know has suffered the loss of baby and would like our free bereavement materials, contact

Your story matters to us.