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4 Ways to Help Avoid Stillbirth

stillbirth

Know your risk factors

Talk to your doctor to see if you meet certain risk factors that could put you at high risk for stillbirth, including maternal obesity, use of alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs, infections such as Group B strep and HIV, advanced maternal age and more. If you are deemed high risk, you should get regular fetal monitoring.

Learn about your baby

Get the tests and ultrasounds done that are recommended by your doctor. Blood tests don’t just determine whether a baby could be born with a chromosome defect; they evaluate how well the placenta is functioning. Third-trimester ultrasounds can monitor amniotic fluid and evaluate positioning of the baby, umbilical cord and placenta.

Sleep on your side

Studies show that women who sleep on their backs during the third trimester have an increased risk of stillbirth. Lying on the left side can enhance blood flow. Also, make sure you are not suffering from sleep apnea.

Pay attention to your baby

Fluttering usually starts around 20 weeks. By 28 weeks, most women notice patterns. Be aware of your baby’s movements and know what is usual for your baby. If you notice any changes, such as slowed or frantic movement, see your doctor immediately. Trust your instincts. You are your baby’s voice.

For more information contact the Star Legacy Foundation.

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