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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > New study released on methods to determine the cause of stillbirth

Saw this story this morning on the effectiveness of testing methods to determine the causes of stillbirth:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/well/family/after-a-stillbirth-tests-can-help-pinpoint-the-cause.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share

I can't stop thinking of all the babies and their families who were involved in this study. I can only imagine how hard it was to make the decision to participate in the study after just losing their baby.

I'm glad to see the research progress so that other families can be helped. I'm also frustrated at the pace of discovery. It took 8 years for this data to be analyzed and for the study to be published. This is probably a very normal timeline, but still so long. And the study is not about stillbirth prevention, but determining the cause after the fact of a death.
March 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAurelia
Thank Aurelia for the link.
I never thought that testing was not done... in my case, my doctor just said we should/needed to do it. But then again I live inPortugal.
The bill on the other hand was not such an interesting thing... and little information was gathered from those tests. Apart from the obvious.
I also did a huge amount of further testing for my subsequent pregnancy, for eventual causes and risk factors, but again, no answers there.

Nevertheless, scientists can not discover new therapies if causes are unknown. And these studies do need to be done with a high number of cases, for relieable statistical linkage, so 8 years isnot so strange.
Many of the placental abruption studies (my particular interest) were done withdata collected over 10 to 20 years.

It is good that there is interest in researching these themes, and maybe for a next generation stillbirths may suffer a profound decrease.
March 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarta
thank you for this link.
I was surprised to read the beginning statistics about the percentage of causes found thru placental pathology- much higher than I would have guessed.

I can remember hearing for the first time that many times, no one knows why the baby dies... that was so difficult to hear-
how can babies just die with no cause?! there is always a cause, it is just the matter of finding it.

our daughter was stillborn and our midwife didn't even ask us about sending the placenta out for pathology- she just did it, as well as a sample of my blood and our daughter's blood. we were asked if we wanted an autopsy on her body, and we declined.

I remember thinking that an autopsy sounded so brutal. here we were, expecting to be holding our infant and blissed out on joy, and instead they were asking us if we wanted her body to be dissected. I totally rejected the whole idea... although in retrospect, I am not opposed to the idea, its just at the time, in the moment, with no info or guidance (like I would have understood anything in my state of postpartum shock), we just said no.

I also declined an autopsy on my son, I mean, he was so little and the thought of anyone touching him- even though I had been through it before and I knew "better", I just could not say yes to it. they also did not ask about sending his placenta out, they just did it. I am kind of shocked that this is not a standard of procedure? we found causes in both of their stillbirths via placental pathology.

even so, having a cause, while a "gift" in terms of having that information, does not totally remedy the issue of "why?".
coral's placenta was small, ok, but why? anton's placenta had something called placental mesenchymal dysplasia. ok, but why did it get that way? it turned out I had issues with all of my pregnancies, all unrelated... and I wonder "why?" all the time, even though we had causes, what is wrong with my body?

I am thankful that the NYT covers the topic, though- this is a 'silver lining' in our media-heavy times- the more exposure something like stillbirth gets, I feel, the less it might happen, overall, as the causes that can be remedied will get addressed.
March 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterss
It was a good article. Thank you for posting the link. NYT is one of the (many) news sources I'm taking a break from because of the hysterical political coverage, so I would have missed this, thank you!

1991, I agreed to having my daughter's body autopsied. I was surprised they asked. I though all unexplained deaths had an autopsy done. Not true, obviously, but I didn't know. Not that they found any answers, they didn't. As you say though, ss, any answer just leads to the next question of why. Why now, why here, why my baby?

I agree with one of the commenters on the piece, I think the possibility of still birth should be covered during prenatal care. That it can happen, what happens at the time, what resources are available and where you can get support. It wouldn't do anything to prepare anyone, but it would let the parents know there are things that can help and that there is a place to start to make sense of this tragedy. That they are not alone. Maybe one specific visit, like at seven and a half months, that covers some of this. The same way the 20 week ultrasound covers certain things. Make it just a routine part of the teaching, care and preparation.
March 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJill A.