One of the most difficult things for new parents to deal with is losing their baby before they even get to meet him or her.
Stillbirth is a fear most moms and dads face to varying degrees when they find out they’re expecting, but many don’t know whether there’s anything they can do to make sure their baby survives to term. While not all stillbirths can be prevented, there are two simple things pregnant woman can do to lower the odds.
The first is to keep track of your baby’s kicks through either the Sadovsky or the Cardiff method. For the Cardiff, count 10 movements and record how long it took to reach 10. For the Sadovsky, count how many movements you feel within a specific time frame.
If you notice decrease in movement or feel chest pains — which can be the result of reduced fetal movement — it’s important to call or visit your doctor because it may be an indication of something wrong.
Pregnant woman should also avoid sleeping on their backs. In one study, researchers in New Zealand found that mothers who lie on their backs had reduced blood flow, which may contribute to stillbirths. Another found that expecting moms don’t breathe in as deeply while lying on their backs, and a third found that those who slept on their backs while pregnant were twice as likely to have had a stillbirth.