Fetal demise

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For many women becoming pregnant is a life changing event and giving birth is a beautiful moment in the mother’s life. A bond is created between the mother and the infant during the pregnancy. Sometimes the mother does not have the chance to experience the birth of her child. The death of a child hinders the continuation of the mother’s strong connection with the baby, and it is a difficult time for the mother, partner, and family. The loss of a child during pregnancy is emotionally and physically challenging and can be a profoundly devastating experience for the mothers and the family. Fetal demise is the term used for fetal death or still birth. In this paper I will explain fetal demise and causes, the effects it has on the mother and family, and nursing care related to dealing with the mother and family.

Fetal death is called a stillbirth or intrauterine fetal demise when the death occurs after 20 weeks of gestation. “About 70% to 90% of all stillbirths occur before the onset of labor, with more that half occurring between 20 and 28 weeks of gestation”
(London,Ladewig, Ball, Bindler, & Cowen, 2011).The most common form of fetal death is a miscarriage which usually occurs early in the pregnancy up to the first 20 weeks of gestation.The main sign of a miscarriage or fetal death is vaginal bleeding sometimes accompanied by abdominal pain (Calleja-Agius, 2008). Maternal or fetal conditions can cause a risk for the death of a fetus. Obesity, maternal age of 35 years or older, African American race, infections, inadequate prenatal care, smoking, drug and alcohol use are some maternal conditions that put a fetus at risk for demise.
Women with a body mass index of 30 or greater is considered obese. Obese women have a higher chance...

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...ntaneous abortion’ can contribute to negative self perceptions and worsen and sense of failure, guilt and insecurity” (calleja. 2008) The nurse must be careful with what she says during this difficult time,reinforcing that the mother is not at fault for the fetal death is important to prevent the feeling of guilt.
In conclusion, The rate of fetal demise has decreased in the United states over the last 15 years.The death of the fetus mostly occurs during the first trimester than it does during the second and third trimester. The loss of a child at any stage of the pregnancy is emotionally devastating for the couple and their families. The dilation and evacuation procedure identifies the reason for the fetal loss and helps the mother and family through the grieving process. During this time, the nurse has an important role to comfort and support the mother and family.

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