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Dr. Drew

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Can stress in pregnancy increase stillbirth risk?

  • Study: Experiencing five or more stressful events may boost stillbirth risk
  • Most women who were stressed did not have a stillbirth, study adds
Can stress in pregnancy increase stillbirth risk?

A new study suggests that pregnant women experiencing physical and mental stress are at a higher risk of stillbirth.

Researchers surveyed more than 2,000 women in the U.S. 24 hours after a stillbirth or after a delivery.

As reported in MyHealthNewsDaily, the results showed that 75 percent of the women (1,015 women) who delivered experienced a stressful life event in the past year, while 83 percent of women (503 women) had a stillbirth.  

One in five women who had a stillbirth and roughly one in ten women who delivered, experienced five or more stressful life events in the past year, MyHealth noted.

However, the study does says that most women who were stressed did not have a stillbirth.

“Stillbirth is the loss of a baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy but before the baby is born,” WebMD explains. “It can happen during the pregnancy or during labor. Stillbirth occurs in about 1 out of 200 pregnancies.”

The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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