While there is no way to know for sure what causes a stillbirth, there are several factors that may increase the chances of one occurring. Women who are over the age of 35 may have a higher risk of a stillbirth compared to others. Mothers who are malnourished or do not receive prenatal care may be at risk of delivering a stillborn child.
Women who use drugs or alcohol while pregnant may experience complications during their pregnancy that may lead to a stillborn child. However, there are some causes of stillbirth that the mother may not be able to control. For instance, infections that are not noticed during the pregnancy could cause a baby to be stillborn. Birth defects that are caused by nothing more than genetic factors could also lead to a baby being stillborn.
If a mother has had a stillborn baby in the past, it could increase the risk of stillbirth in the future. Mothers are advised to monitor their babies carefully and take note of any abnormalities that could indicate that the baby is having trouble. A stillbirth diagnosis could be made via ultrasound before the labor occurs. In some cases, the stillbirth can be prevented if medical intervention occurs soon enough.
If a baby suffers a birth injury or dies during the birth process, it may be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor if circumstances point to negligence on the part of a health care practitioner. It may also include the hospital where the baby was born. The parents of the baby may win compensation for medical expenses and funeral expenses if the baby passes away. An attorney who has experience in this area may be helpful in ensuring that the rights of the parents are protected throughout the legal process.
Source: APA, "Stillbirth: Trying To Understand", December 02, 2014