While infant mortality rates in the United States have continued to drop due to the efforts around promoting safe sleep practices and SIDS awareness, the number of stillbirths has remained steady. About 1 in every 160 pregnancies ends in the baby being born still. That is roughly 26,000 nationwide.
In Ohio, the number of stillborn babies has increased over the past handful of years. In 2016, 904 babies were lost in the state – 0.65% of total Ohio births that year. While it may seem a small number, Ohio’s ratio is greater than the nation at about 1 in every 154 pregnancies.
Of all the reasons that a baby can pass away while in utero, the most common is from an unspecified cause, followed closely by complications related to the placenta, cord, or membranes. These are the top two causes starting at 22 weeks gestation.
Because so many of these deaths are unpredictable, there is little to be done to prevent it. Stillbirth crosses all lines and occurs in families of all races/ethnicities, religions, ages, and socio-economic statuses. The risk factors are few, leaving no one immune.