Baby Loss

Baby loss in the womb, during delivery or soon after birth - can be a depressing life experience. Discussed here are the common forms of baby loss miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth and neonatal death, and how to cope up while conceiving a rainbow baby.

Last Updated: 22 October 2020

Baby Loss
Baby Loss

Conceiving a baby is one of the miraculous phases of life. But, under unfortunate circumstances, when the baby is lost, it can cause great grief and bereavement. Most couples, however, get back from the loss and get prepared for a rainbow baby.

First of all, how does an implanted embryo or a fully or partially developed baby disintegrate away? Here are a few reasons why this happens:

Miscarriage

Miscarriage is a spontaneous loss of a fetus before 24 weeks of pregnancy. From the day of conception up until 24 weeks, miscarriage can happen at any time. A recently fertilized egg before implantation or during the process of implantation can be lost too. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, that is, before 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The exact cause of baby loss due to miscarriage may not be known unless a previously existing physiological issue has been identified. The common cause of a miscarriage is:

·         Chromosomal abnormality

·         Structural problems

·         Infections

Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is a rare condition in which the embryo attaches to the fallopian tube instead of travelling down to the womb, and as a result it leads to baby loss. According to the American Pregnancy Association, ectopic pregnancy happens to 1 in every 50 pregnant women, although it is reported to be 1 in 100 in the UK.

 In an ectopic pregnancy, the normal passage of the fertilized egg through the fallopian tube is obstructed. Though the exact cause may not always be pinned down, the common causes are:

·         Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a bacterial infection in the female reproductive organs including ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and the cervix

·         A previous abdominal or tubal surgery which resulted in a scar tissue or an adhesion

·         A birth defect which caused an abnormality in the fallopian tube

·         Fibroids in the uterus

·         Endometriosis, a condition in which the tissue lining the inner wall of uterus grows outside the uterus

 Stillbirth                                         

Stillbirth is the death of the fetus after 24 weeks of pregnancy, either before or during delivery. The cause of many stillbirths still remains a mystery; however here are the most probable reasons for baby loss due to stillbirths:

·         Failure of placenta

·         Placental abruption

·         Infection

Neonatal Death

The death of a baby during the first 28 days of his or her life is referred to as neonatal death. Most neonatal deaths are due to premature birth. When the baby’s vital organs like lungs are not fully developed and baby is unable to cope up under neonatal intensive care, he or she might struggle to survive soon after birth. Other reasons include genetic disorders, complications during labor and delivery or infection.

How to cope when you are expecting a rainbow baby?

In spite of the hope that your rainbow baby has come to give you, you might not be able to completely get over with the loss of the previous one. Here are some helpful tips to cope up with your situation:

·         Understanding that your rainbow bundle needs love that is devoid of grief can help you come to terms that you cannot ignore the present in your hand because the past bereaved you.

·         Read stories of rainbow babies and how their arrival brought hope and joy to their families.

·         Baby loss wasn’t your fault and so, it need not put you in guilt to try for another.

·         Get support from your partner, family and friends to help you in other areas of your life so that you can give priority to matters of your rainbow baby.

·         If grief overcomes you, consult a psychiatrist or therapist to seek medical help.

 

·         Be aware of the past reasons of the baby loss and take care to monitor your pregnancy and baby closely. 

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