Birth after a baby has died

It is emotionally difficult for a mother to give birth after her baby has died and very sad for everyone involved. A vaginal birth may seem like the least preferable option but it has benefits for the mother and her future pregnancies. 

Giving birth after your baby has died

If the mother is still pregnant and the baby has died, the doctor will usually recommend an induction (starting labour with medical assistance). For some women it will be possible to wait for labour to start without medical assistance, but for others there will be medical reasons as to why that is not possible.

The doctor and midwife will usually prepare the mother well for what is going to happen during labour, how the pain can be managed, and any concerns or fears that the mother may have. The aim is to prepare the mother and to support her throughout the labour and afterwards. After the birth, the mother may need to stay in hospital for a number of days.

A caesarean will only be recommended in very specific situations. It may seem like the most straightforward way to give birth, but caesareans can lead to longer hospital stays, more pain, and potentially more problems in future pregnancies than vaginal births.

Some women who are less than 18 weeks pregnant may have a surgical procedure called a 'termination of pregnancy'.


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The Women’s does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or use of such information or advice) which is provided on the Website or incorporated into it by reference. The Women’s provide this information on the understanding that all persons accessing it take responsibility for assessing its relevance and accuracy. Women are encouraged to discuss their health needs with a health practitioner. If you have concerns about your health, you should seek advice from your health care provider or if you require urgent care you should go to the nearest Emergency Dept.

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