Giving birth to a stillborn baby can be an extremely traumatic experience. A mother goes from thrilled at the expectation of having a baby to dealing with the grief of losing a child. There are a number of possible causes for stillbirths. Previously on this blog we covered one possible culprit: preeclampsia. In that post, we described some of the symptoms and tests that can be administered by doctors to detect the condition.
But what are some of the factors that could contribute to the development of preeclampsia? Well, you have an increased risk if you:
- Had preeclampsia during a previous pregnancy.
- Are related to someone, such as a sister, mother or aunt, who had preeclampsia.
- Are obese; that is, your body mass index is 30 or above.
- Are less than 20 years old or more than 40 years old.
- Have gestational hypertension or chronic hypertension.
- Have lupus, diabetes or kidney disease. Certain blood clotting disorders also raise the risk.
If any of these factors pertain to you, be sure that your doctor is aware and that he or she is factoring this information into your care and treatment. It is quite possible that you may have to make more frequent visits to the doctor during your third trimester, so he or she has a better chance of discovering and treating the condition early.
Unfortunately, sometimes a doctor may not pay close enough attention to an expectant mother's condition or fail to issue the right battery of tests to better ensure the detection of preeclampsia. And doctors must remain vigilant in watching for signs of the condition as it can even develop during and after labor.
If you lost your baby and suspect it was because your doctor did not recognize or react to the symptoms of preeclampsia, you may want to get in touch with a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney can go over your medical records and look to see if the doctor was in some way negligent in handling the birth. And if the situation merits, the attorney could file a civil suit on your behalf.