Today, September 6th, is Stillbirth Remembrance Day.
So, let’s share some facts.
• Stillbirth is the death of an infant in-utero at 20 or more completed gestational weeks. More than 25,000 babies are stillborn in the United States each year
• Almost 50 percent of these deaths occur at or near full term and often seem to be otherwise healthy babies. The majority of stillbirths (85%)occur before delivery with 15% occurring during labor and delivery.
• It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of all stillbirth deaths remain unexplained. Researchers feel that this is more likely due to a failure to investigate the deaths, rather than a medical mystery.
• Stillbirth deaths cut across all socio-economic classes, races, religions and maternal age groups. No woman is immune.
• Some of the more common diagnosable causes for stillbirth are: placental abruption and other placental problems, birth defects and chromosomal abnormalities, uncontrolled diabetes, pre-eclampsia, cord accidents and infections.
• The risk factors for stillbirth include: advanced maternal age, maternal obesity, maternal smoking, prior stillbirth, neonatal death or other fetal losses, uncontrolled maternal diabetes and maternal hypertension.
• After a stillbirth, few hospitals offer an autopsy, placental exam or clinical testing to the parents to determine the cause of death.
• Mothers who suffer a stillbirth do not receive recognition in 39 out of 50 states. There is no certificate of birth — making these babies births "invisible".
Joel died at 40 weeks. And on this remembrance day I have only one question…
...when was I supposed to forget in order to remember?