The significance of a previous stillbirth

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
R K FreemanT J Garite


Among 7052 patients studied between 1976 and 1982 in a collaborative project on antepartum fetal heart rate monitoring, 337 patients had a previous stillbirth as a reason for testing. Overall a previous stillbirth history significantly increased the risk of having a positive result on a contraction stress test, primarily among hypertensive patients. Patients with a previous stillbirth also had a significantly higher incidence of respiratory distress syndrome in their neonates attributable to premature intervention for maternal indications (primarily among hypertensive women and patients with clinical intrauterine growth retardation). Low Apgar scores were found to be significantly increased in diabetics with previous stillbirths primarily due to neonates with congenital malformations. Premature intervention by labor induction or cesarean section was more common among patients with a previous stillbirth for both maternal indications and abnormal antepartum fetal heart rate studies. Previous stillbirth would appear therefore to be a significant risk factor primarily when associated with a diagnosis of hypertension or clinical intrauterine growth retardation.


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