Today’s Daily Blab focuses on stillbirth, grief and loss. A brief highlight into a topic that evokes emotion, that causes despair and gut-wrenching loss, but a topic that needs to be brought into the forefront of discussion.
Today the story of Lynsey Bell and her precious baby boy, Rory, is put under the spotlight. This story stopped me in my tracks and filled me with profound sadness for her loss. Lynsey’s experience of stillbirth and losing her son due to serious pre-eclampsia that had caused the placenta to detach from her womb, causing a hemorrhage is emotional, terrifying, gut-wrenching but important as a means of raising awareness and openness around stillbirth. Read more about her story here
Lynsey had 15 days with Rory after his death, 15 days of cuddles, bonding, care and attention, 15 days of pouring over every ounce, every inch of skin, every curve of his body, every shed of hair. Lynsey also had 15 pints of blood transfused as she nearly died. Read here about how to donate blood. Stories like Lynsey’s are not uncommon, and in fact, happen more than you might think.
Do you know that for every 1,000 babies born in Britain, 2.9 are stillborn? (based on at least 28 weeks of gestation)
- In women with a BMI over 30, the risk rises to 1 in 100.
- Around half of all stillbirths are linked to placental complications.
- Other causes include bleeding before or during labour, placental abruption, pre-eclampsia, a problem with the umbilical cord, obstetric cholestasis, a genetic physical defect in the baby, pre-existing diabetes, and infection in the mother that also affects the baby.
- Reduced fetal movement is a good indicator of stillbirth, with slowing down of movement noticed by the mother in two out of three stillbirths.
The NHS highlight ways to reduce the risk of stillbirth, undoubtedly more research is needed, stillbirth can’t always be prevented, but understanding into the causes- the reasons why, can help a family grieve and continue with their future, the best way they can. With investment and research, stillbirth and factors to prevent, (where possible) could save many lives in the future.
Reduce the Risk by;
- stopping smoking
- avoiding alcohol and drugs during pregnancy
- attending all your antenatal appointments so that midwives can monitor the growth and wellbeing of your baby
- making sure you’re a healthy weight before trying to get pregnant
- protecting yourself against infections (see causes of stillbirth) and avoiding certain foods
- reporting any tummy pain or vaginal bleeding that you have to your midwife on the same day
- being aware of your baby’s movements and reporting any concerns you have to your midwife straight away
- reporting any itching to your midwife
During pregnancy, if you feel like something ‘isn’t right‘ or that you want to be checked by your midwife, then call your clinic to discuss your concerns and get seen, insist that you want to be monitored, you are not a nuisance, but a mother wanting to protect and nurture her unborn baby.
Kicks Count are a fabulous charity who detail the importance of monitoring baby movements and provide great guidance material for pregnant women.
Shoebox full of Memories explores stillbirth from a father’s perspective, topics such as dealing with grief and parenting after loss are explored. Join the campaign to #endstillbirths and share the discussion!