Stillbirth: Childbirth and Stillbirth Desiree Wilson Essay examples

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Stillbirth
Desiree Wilson
Everest University Online

July 2009 my husband and I found out that I was pregnant. We were both very nervous because we never pictured ourselves being young parents. After I told my parents, the first thing they wanted to do was get me into the doctor to make sure the baby was healthy and to see how far along I actually was. The weeks following this amazing news were just that, we went to many doctors’ appointments to find that our baby was in fact very healthy. When we found out that we were having a baby boy we were both very excited. My husband couldn't wait to have a sidekick to do things that boys do with. When I was 33 weeks pregnant I was awakened to my water breaking. I was scared because I knew the baby was early, so I ran into my mom's room and woke her up. We rushed to the emergency room in my hometown where they confirmed that my water had broken and told me to rush to the hospital where I was expecting to deliver my baby. An hour later we arrived at the delivery hospital where we were getting prepared to bring our baby into the world. Upon checking me in, the nurse led me to my hospital room. As soon as I sat down on my hospital bed I had the sudden urge to use the restroom. I notified my nurse and she assisted me to the bathroom. I noticed that I was bleeding pretty severely so I screamed for my nurse. I didn’t know what was happening but I could tell by the urgency in her voice when she called the delivery doctor into the room. He proceeded to tell me that he needed me to get back over to my hospital bed so they could monitor my baby’s heartbeat and make sure everything was okay. The nurse strapped the huge rubber band- like monitor around my belly and flipped on the power switch. That moment is when we found that our baby no longer had a heartbeat. This is an unfortunate example of what happens to 1 in 160 pregnancies and is known as stillbirth (“March of Dimes,” 2013). With many causes, very few preventative measures, and no treatments available, stillbirth is a tragedy that affects thousands of people in the United States every year. When fetal death occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy it is known as stillbirth (“March of Dimes,” 2013). There are a number of known causes of stillbirth, and sometimes there may be more than one contribution to the baby’s death. One cause of stillbirth is birth defects. Birth defects are responsible for about 20% of stillbirths (“Stillbirth,” 2013). For example, down syndrome and spina bifida are two common birth defects that can result in stillbirth. There are also other causes of stillbirth such as the use of street drugs, severe nutritional deficiencies, and infection during pregnancy (“Stillbirth: symptoms, diagnosis and prevention,” 2013). Umbilical cord problems may also cause stillbirths. In a prolapsed umbilical cord, the cord comes out of the vagina before the baby, blocking the oxygen supply before the baby can breathe on its own resulting in the death of the fetus (“Stillbirth: symptoms, diagnosis and prevention,” 2013). Stillbirth is a disorder that cannot be 100% prevented, but there are some measures that mothers can take to lessen their chance of losing their baby.The risk of stillbirth can be lowered to some extent by good prenatal care and the mother's avoidance of exposure to infectious diseases, alcohol abuse, or drug consumption. Tests before delivery (antepartum testing), such as ultrasound, the alpha-fetoprotein blood test, and the electronic fetal non-stress test, can be used to evaluate the health of the fetus before there is a stillbirth (“Stillbirth,” 2013). Obesity and a history of a previous stillbirth also increase a woman’s risk. Women who have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, face an increased chance of stillbirth -especially if these conditions aren’t under control. Also, girls under the age of 15 and women older than their mid-30s also have an increased risk of stillbirth…