Management of subsequent pregnancy after an unexplained stillbirth

S. J. Robson, L. R. Leader

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: To review the management of pregnancy after an unexplained stillbirth.Epidemiology: Approximately 1 in 200 pregnancies will end in stillbirth, of which about one-third will remain unexplained. Unexplained stillbirth is the largest single contributor to perinatal mortality. Subsequent pregnancies do not appear to have an increased risk of stillbirth, but are characterized by increased rates of intervention (induction of labor, elective cesarean section) and iatrogenic adverse outcomes (low birth weight, prematurity, emergency cesarean section and post-partum hemorrhage).Conclusions: There is no level-one evidence to guide management in this situation. Pre-pregnancy counseling is very important to detect and correct potential risk factors such as obesity, smoking and maternal disease. As timely delivery is the mainstay of management, early accurate determination of gestational age is vital. There is controversy regarding the pattern of surveillance, but evidence exists only for ultrasound and not for regular non-stress testing, nor formal fetal movement charting. There is an urgent need for more studies in this important area.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)305-310
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Perinatology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2010


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