Skip to Content

Risk factors

This information is compiled from published research data. Through prenatal care, an expectant families individual history should be considered and a conversation relating to potential risk factors is suggested.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical professional. Still Aware provides this knowledge as a courtesy, not as a substitute for personalised medical advice and disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. Rather, the organisation encourages expectant families and clinicians to ask the questions. Quality antenatal care that is accessible to all, has the potential to reduce stillbirth rates in high-income countries. Multiple risk factors would warrant closer or more regular monitoring throughout pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester.

Characteristics of at risk mothers may include: 

  • Primiparity (first time mothers) i
  • Maternal age (less than 18 or 35years +) ii
  • Assisted reproduction (IVF) pregnancy ii
  • BMI (30 or above) ii
  • Maternal ethnic origin (South Asian descent, Australian indigenous & new immigrant group) ii
  • Previous Stillbirth ii
  • Previous Caesarean section ii
  • Diabetes (pre-existing & Gestational) ii
  • Smoking ii
  • Alcohol ii
  • Illicit drug use ii
  • Lack of folic acid ii
  • High blood pressure (Pre-existing and Pre-eclampsia) ii
  • Multiple Pregnancy ii
  • Infection ii
  • Low socio economic status ii
  • Poor antenatal attendance (less than 50% of planned visits attended) iii

Characteristics of at risk baby may include:

  • Decreased fetal movement (irregular from what’s normal baby) ii for the individual
  • Erratic increased fetal movement (crazy, insane or out-of-control movement from what is normal for the individual baby)iv
  • Fetal growth restriction (crossing centiles from the expected growth curve for that baby) ii
  • Low amniotic fluid v
  • Placental blood flow restriction vi
  • Gestational age 41 weeks or more ii
  • Male ii

Published articles about finding the cause of stillbirth:

Implementation of national perinatal mortality audit programmes aimed at improving the quality of care could substantially reduce stillbirths. i

Microarray analysis is more likely than karyotype analysis to provide a genetic diagnosis, primarily because of its success with nonviable tissue, and is especially valuable in analyses of stillbirths with congenital anomalies or in cases in which karyotype results cannot be obtained. vii