The NOT so fun facts about Stillbirths

So, let's dive into the unpleasant and heart-wrenching facts and statistics about stillbirths in the United States. During my stay at the hospital, many tests were done on me and allowed them to do the same on her, and to hear we are healthy was bittersweet.  Makensie passed due to the umbilical cord wrapping too tight around her precious hand and cutting her circulation off. 

Tim asked questions like; was it due to her size because our little one weighed at 8lbs and 8oz, and during my last visit before rushing to ER I measured at 40cms at 38 weeks.  The doctors reassured us that wasn't it, and just simply responded: " This sort of things just happen."

Being tired of general answers and still not being able to fantom how such a " healthy " pregnancy can end so tragically, I started to do some research. Below is some of my findings:

  • According to  The American Congress of  Obstetricians and Gynecologists  (ACOG), more than 26,000 babies are stillborn each year. That's 71  families a day leaving the hospital with a broken heart and crushed spirits.
  • Worldwide  there are 4 million  Stillbirths each year ( Macdorman, Kimeyer, and Wilson, 2012)
  • 1 in 160 American pregnancies ends in Stillbirths.( ACOG,2009)
  • Almost 50 percent of Stillbirths occur at or near full term and often "seem" to be healthy babies. ( SCRN,2011)
  • The majority of Stillbirths (85%) happen before delivery with 15% occurring during labor and delivery.(SMFM,2010)
  • 2/3 of all Stillbirths are unexplained (SCRN,2011)
  • 77 percent of families never worried their baby would die after the first trimester.(Pullen et al.,2012)   **I know my family was one, we went on our routine prenatal visits and never not once had any concerns.
  • Stillbirth rate has not changed NOT changed in the US  in the last 50 years.(SCRN,2011) **No, it's not rising, but it's also NOT declining neither.
  • More babies are stillborn every year than those who die from prematurity and SIDS combined.( SMFM,2010) **And we still rarely hear about this, do these babies not count ???
  • Oh yeah, "Stillbirths is the most understudied issue in medicine today " ( Lancet,2011) that's why. 
  • And last interesting and upsetting fact/statistic, the Stillbirth rate for African American/black women double the Stillbirth rate for women of other race.(Macdorman, Kimeyer, and Wilson, 2012).  ** Now, I chose this one last because I'm so interested and why this is, could it be that the black community is under more stress? Not getting the proper care from the care provider? No access to better care? 

Let's not be #STILL anymore.