Novel strategies to prevent stillbirth

Published:February 02, 2017DOI:


      This article reviews three new and emerging risk factors for stillbirth that may be modifiable or might identify a compromised fetus. We focus on fetal movements, maternal sleep, and maternal diet. Recent studies have suggested than a sudden increase in vigorous fetal activity may be associated with increased risk of stillbirth. We review the papers that have reported this finding and discuss the implications as well as potential future directions for research. There is emerging literature to suggest that maternal sleep position may be a risk for stillbirth, especially if the woman settles to sleep supine. This risk is biologically plausible. How this knowledge may be utilized to assist stillbirth reduction strategies is discussed. Finally, we examine the somewhat limited literature regarding maternal diet and pregnancy outcome. Introducing probiotics into the diet may prove useful, but further work is required. The possible next steps for research are considered, as well as some potential intervention strategies that may ultimately lead to stillbirth reduction.


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