What is a stillbirth?

Stillbirth is when a baby is born after the 24th week of pregnancy without showing any signs of life.

If the death occurs in the womb, it is called intra-uterine and if it happens during labour it is know as intra-partum. If the baby dies in the womb, labour is induced. A baby dying before the 24th week is known as a miscarriage.

What causes it?

The exact causes of a stillbirth often remain unclear, although one sixth are thought to result from an abnormality present at birth or other complications during pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia. Other possible causes and risk factors include:

  • Smoking during pregnancy increases the chances of stillbirth

    Smoking while pregnant

  • Infection during pregnancy, such as listeriosis
  • The mother being under the age of 20 or over the age of 40
  • The mother being obese
  • Poor growth in the womb
  • Birth trauma – if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck, for example
  • Pre-existing health problems in the mother such as high blood pressure or diabetes
  • A problem with the placenta (when it separates from the womb too early)
  • A physical defect with the baby (possibly genetic)

How does it happen?

Many stillbirths are preceded by growth restrictions or reduced movement of the baby over a period of 24 hours. Some women suddenly go into labour.

When a stillbirth has been established, labour is usually induced. A Caserean section is not recommended due to the high risk of bleeding.

[adsense]What happens next?

Most women opt to hold their baby and some have a photo taken to help them come to terms with the death. Parents can then choose whether or not to have a post-mortem conducted, the results of which may or may not explain why the baby died. If it does, however, it may go a long way in helping to prevent the same thing from happening during a future pregnancy.

For this purpose, the mother may also choose to have her placenta examined or have a blood test to determine whether or not she has an underlying condition, such as the autoimmune disease lupus, which could have caused the stillbirth.

Grieving for a stillborn child is very difficult and parents often choose to have therapy to help them deal with the death.

Click here to read about what happens during an ectopic pregnancy, morning sickness and stretch marks.

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Sophie Dahl and Jamie Callum welcome baby girl

British rose Sophie Dahl and her husband of one year Jamie Callum are the proud parents of their first child, a baby girl called Lyra.

In a brief statement, a spokesman for the couple said: “Musician Jamie Cullum and his wife, the author and presenter Sophie Dahl, have become parents.

“Their daughter Lyra was born on March the second. They are over the moon.”

In case your’re wondering, Lyra is the Greek name for a constellation of stars and it is also the Latin word for lyre, a stringed instrument.

Sophie Dahl, the granddaughter of the much-loved children’s author Roald Dahl, made a name for herself as a plus-sized model, although in the meanwhile her curves are long since gone and she has now made a name for herself as a cookbook writer and TV presenter with her show, The Delicious Miss Dahl.

Sophie, 33, married her Jazz musician husband Jamie, 31, in a lavish ceremony in January last year after four years of dating. at 5ft 4in, he is a good deal shorter than his wife, who towers over him at 6ft. “The big joke is whether the child is going to be statuesque like Sophie or small like Jamie,” a friend was quoted by Daily Mail as saying.

Other stars expecting a baby this year include  Selma Blair,  Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson,Victoria Beckham and Marion Cotillard.

Read about former plus-size model Crystal Renn and the outcry about her weight loss.

Images: solebaycheese.co.uk and madblackcat.com

Kendra Wilkinson regains Playboy bunny body after losing the last of her baby weight

Former Playboy Playmate Kendra developed a case of the bunny blues when she gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy, but 14 months down the line the the feisty blonde is happy in her skin again.

All new mothers are keen to shed their excess baby weight, but for celebrities living under the scrutinous public glare the pressure is even stronger. This obsession to lose the excess pounds in the blink of an eye has sparked an unhealthy trend among new mothers, regardless of whether they frequent the red carpet or not.

These women put themselves through gruelling diet and exercise regimes in a bid to regain their pre-pregnancy bodies, often with detrimental results. Not so long ago the media was filled with stories of reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian’s collapse, a result of the extreme measures she adopted to slip into a bikini for a fashion shoot.

Kendra, who is 5’4″, gained a considerable amount of weight during her pregnancy, but not long after giving birth she appeared impossibly trim and toned —  and apparently 25 pounds lighter — in a bikini on the cover of OK! magazine. “Getting into a bikini in only eight weeks was definitely nerve-wracking,” the former Playboy Playmate said of the experience.

Still not happy with the post-pregnancy changes to her body, Kendra kicked off Season 2 of her reality show by slipping into a not-so-sexy blue plastic sauna suit in a desperate attempt to sweat away some baby pounds. “Do you realize that in a month I haven’t shed one f**king pound?” a very frustrated Kendra asked her hubby. “What the hell is this?”

Manufacturers of sweat suits claim that by donning the outfits during a workout you sweat more, increasing your metabolism and calorie burning, while at the same time ridding your body of nasty toxins.

[adsense]While it’s hard to believe that Kendra’s suit played that big a role in her regaining her  figure, 14 months have passed since she gave birth to Hank and she has revealed how she finally managed to shed the last 10 stubborn pounds — in just two weeks — and with no wonder suits involved.

She told OK!: ‘I always thought I needed to be on some specific diet. But I’ve noticed that it’s all about where you are and what you’re doing in life.

‘If I want to eat junk food, I go to the gym. If I’m taking a break from working out so hard, I eat more salad.’

Sounds sensible enough.

Read here about Kendra Wilkinson’s underage drug habit and rumors about a looming divorce.

And for some more bunny news, click here to read about the outrage generated by a Playmate’s naked yoga video.

Images: PR Photos and flickr.com

And for some

Jennifer Aniston is not adopting a Mexican baby

With the current celebrity trend child adoption becoming something of a fashion, it comes as a huge relief to discover that Jennifer Aniston is not in the process of jumping on the bandwagon.

The former Friends star is vehemently denying rumours that she is on the verge of adopting a Mexican baby. She currently has no children of her own and the news that she’s not likely to become a parent in any capacity comes just over a week before her 42nd birthday.

My hot mom - well, not in the foreseeable future at least.

Aniston, having been linked with a host of suitors since her split from former husband Brad Pitt in 2005, is still very much focused on her acting career and doesn’t seem overly bothered by the prospect of being a mother just now.

The news of her denial over adoption claims happened during filming for Thursday’s edition of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and when asked by the host if she would be adopting another dog, Aniston responded, “I think you’re confusing that with the Mexican child I’m supposedly adopting.”

“Oh, are you going to adopt a Mexican child?” Quizzed DeGeneres.

“No, I’m not adopting a Mexican child,” the now single actress replied, before joking that Adam Sandler “adopted four last week and that never even got mentioned. No, I’m not adopting any children. … And no doggies right now.”

[adsense]Aniston and Sandler reunite on screen again after the less well received, serious flick Spanglish, in the forthcoming big-screen comedy Just Go With It.

Please share your thoughts on the celebrity baby adoption trend by leaving a comment.

Read about other stars who’ve been linked with adoption, such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Eva Longoria, and Halle Berry.

images: mannythemovieguy.com, celebgossipz.com

Christina Applegate welcomes baby daughter

Christina Applegate has been keeping fans up to date with her pregnancy on Twitter and now finally the big moment has arrived: The first time mom and her fiance, musician Martyn LeNoble, are the proud parents of a baby girl.

Just two weeks ago the Emmy-nominated actress tweeted: “Believe me, I am asking the same question ‘holy crap, is that chick still pregnant?’ It takes almost 10 months to make a person FYI.”

Well, as confirmed by the star’s rep, that little person — Sadie Grace Le Noble — made her entrance to the world on Thursday in Los Angeles. “Mother and daughter are doing great.”

“She’s a beautiful little girl, and they are so happy and in love with her,” a family friend told People, which reported in August last year that Applegate thought she would “probably be a little hippie and a little Type A” when it comes to be ing a mom. “I’ll take from my mother, who was way hippie and like ‘Do what you wanna do,’ and bring in things I know from watching my friends raise their kids.”

LeNoble, who sealed the deal on Valentine’s Day last year, was by the star’s side when Sadie was born and later announced on his Facebook that she weighed in at 7 lbs., 8 oz.

The couple have been dating for nearly three years, and it will be the second marriage for both of them. The Married…With Children star, 39,  previously split from her husband Jonathon Schaech in 2005 after four years of marriage.

Click here to read about Christina Applegate’s 2008 battle with breast cancer and her double masectomy.

Other stars expecting a baby this year include  Selma Blair,  Natalie PortmanKate Hudson,Victoria BeckhamPenelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard.

Images: PR Photos

Ivanka Trump joins the growing list of pregnant celebrities

There must be something in the water, what with news of celebrity pregnancies making the headlines on an almost daily basis this year. Next in line to jump on the baby bandwagon is Ivanka Trump.

Trump, 29, daughter of Aprentice star Donald Trump, and her husband Jared Kushner, owner of the New York Observer, tied the knot in a lavish ceremony last year at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Choosing her Twitter to spread the happy new, the glamorous businesswoman wrote: “I have been wanting to share some amazing news with all of you for some time…I’m pregnant!”

“Jared and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Last year she told OK! magazine that seeing older brother Donald Trump Jr. and his wife Vanessa become parents to two children got her thinking about starting her own family

“My brother is over-the-moon, and he’s an amazing father,” Trump said. “And his wife is an incredible mother to their two beautiful children. It’s very encouraging to see such a happy, beautiful family, and I hope to have one of my own one day.”

Well, that “one day” isn’t far off for Ivanka, the second oldest of Donald Trump’s five children.

Other pregnant stars include Alicia Silverstone, Kate HudsonSelma BlairNatalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Victoria Beckham and Owen Wilson’s girlfriend  Jade Duell , Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard.

Images: PR Photos

Nicole Kidman’s surrogate baby joy on receiving end of criticism

In what must have been one of the best-kept secrets in Hollywood, Oscar-winning Nicole Kidman and her country singer husband Keith Urban have a brand new addition to their family — a baby girl. But a host of nasty comments circulating the internet show that not everyone is sharing their happiness.

Since news of their baby broke on Monday, the couple have been on the receiving end of a storm of criticism for using a surrogate mother. “I hope this isn’t a Camille Grammer birth, where she didn’t want to mess up her body or busy schedule,” a woman called Deirdre Poloti commented on PEOPLE.
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It is a pity that people are so quick to criticize, especially during what should be such a joyous experience. As to why Nicole opted to have a “gestational carrier”, there are a number of viable possibilities. At 43,  one should take into consideration her advanced maternal age. The years between 25 and 35 are when a women is most fertile in times of child bearing. Pregnancy gets more difficult the older you are, and with every passing year the number of risks increase.

Nicole is also diabetic and research shows that both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes sharply raise the risk of pregancy complications.

Perhaps people could to well to be a little more thoughtful before jumping to their own brash conclusions?

Although the baby, born at the Centennial Medical Center in Nashville on December 28, was carried by a surrogate mother, Nicole and Keith are the biological parents. In order to keep the birth a secret, the couple rented out the top floor of the hospital.

[adsense]”Our family is truly blessed, and just so thankful, to have been given the gift of baby Faith Margaret,” the couple said in a statement. “No words can adequately convey the incredible gratitude that we feel for everyone who was so supportive throughout this process, in particular our gestational carrier.”

They said they chose Faith as their new baby’s first name because that’s what they needed to get through the process of their daughter being born.

’We needed lots of faith, literally’, Nicole explained.

Keith and Nicole are already the aprents of another daugher, Sudnay Rose, born in 2008. And the story behing her name? s She was named after early 20th-century artist’s muse Sunday Reed. Her middle name, Rose, is a nod to Urban’s late grandmother Rose.

Kidman also has two teenagers, Connor, 16, and Isabella, 18 with her ex-husband Tom Cruise.
This year is proving to be THE YEAR for celebrity babies. Selma BlairNatalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Victoria Beckham and Owen Wilson’s girlfriend  Jade Duell will all be welcoming babies to the world this year. Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard are also expecting.

Images: PR Photos and Wikimedia Commons

Owen Wilson is dad to a baby boy

On Friday the 42-year-old Little Fockers star and his girlfriend Jade became the proud parents of a baby boy, just days Owen revealed that he revealed that there was a little one on the way.

The couple has been staying at the actor’s $8 million oceanfront home in Hawaii since December and according to reports the baby was delivered there via waterbirth, weighing in at a healthy 6lbs, 13oz.

“Owen and Jade are thrilled!” an insider told Star magazine.

“Owen has been doing a celebratory hula dance all afternoon! It’s a beautiful boy and everyone is incredibly happy!”

There’s no rock on  Jade’s finger yet, but Owen told UsMagazine in December how he realized that she may be the special one: “When you stop talking about yourself and you’re more open to listening to what they’re interested in and what they want to talk, that’s how you know.”

“Maybe you’re more open to even renting a movie like Steel Magnolias. Before you know it, you’re getting late fees for Sleepless in Seattle nad you’re giving p the remote control! Although by that definition, not many men have been in love!”

Owen met the 28 year old, who works as a federal air marshal, on a flight from L.A. to Washington D.C. They have been dating for a year.

Other stars expecting a baby this year are Selma BlairNatalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Victoria Beckham, Alicia Silverstone, Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard.

Images: PR Photos and Wikimedia Commons

Actress Selma Blair pregnant with first baby

If 2010 was the year of Hollywood break-ups, 2011 is proving to be the year of celebrity babies and this time it’s Selma Blair who’s jumped on the pregnancy bandwagon.

The 38-year-old star is the latest female star to announce she is pregnant, following the news that Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson, Victoria Beckham and Owen Wilson’s girlfriend  Jade Duell will all be welcoming babies to the world this year. Penelope Cruz and Marion Cotillard are also expecting.

The Hellboy actress has been dating her fashion designer boyfriend for a little short of a year and “although the pregnancy was a surprise, she couldn’t be happier,” an insider told The Star. “They gave each other promise rings but they have no plans to marry.”

“Selma and Jason are ecstatic! It’s still early on but they have started telling family members and close friends. Selma never thought she could be this happy. Her life right now is a dream come true!”

Selma, who rose to fame with her tole in Cruel Intentions, was previously married to Ahmet Zappa from 2004 to 2006 and she later dated her Kath & Kim co-star Mikey Day.

Although she has managed to keep the lid on her relationship with Jason, she has reportedly been spotted wearing a ring on her engagement finger. Will the wedding bells be ringing soon?

Images: PR Photos

Owen Wilson and Jade Duell to become parents

After getting audiences rolling around in laughter in his latest movie Little Fockers, Owen Wilson is preparing for his next big role: fatherhood.

Unbeknownst to most of us, Wilson has been dating his girlfriend Jade Duell for about a year and apparently she is ready to pop any day now. She is in Hawaii now, which is where she plans to give birth.

A source told USMagazine.com that Wilson is “very excited and involved with the pregnancy” and that the couple “want to do everything as natural as possible.”

“The quirky-looking first-time dad, 42,  “has been doing research and learning as much as he can. He’s super into it and asks a lot of questions to make sure he knows what’S going on every step of the way.”

Owen had a highly publicized battle with depression and in 2007, just as his career was taking off with block buster comedies like , he attempted suicide. People magaine reported that “Owen was very despondent. He slit his wrists. He almost did not make it.”

Owen later issued a statement, saying: “I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time.”  He has since not spoken publicly about the incident, although it has been speculated that his drug use, his break-up with Kate Hudson and a fight with a friend may have made him particularly vulnerable.

The Hollywood star has since bounced back with several blockbuster movies, among them The Wedding Crasher and Marley &Me and he is scheduled to star in Woody Allen’S next film Midnight in Paris.

Read here about Owen Wilson’s suicide attempt and about him being the victim of a celebrity death hoax.

Images: PR Photos and Wikimedia Commons