Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size
A
A
A

Size of Fetus May Affect Stillbirth Risk

Study linked abnormally low or high weight to greater odds of fetal death

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Fetuses that are either too small or too large are at increased risk for stillbirth, a large new study says.

Researchers analyzed all the stillbirths that occurred over 2.5 years at 59 hospitals in five regions of the United States. They found that abnormal fetal growth was associated with between 25 percent and 50 percent of the stillbirths.

Stillbirth refers to a fetal death that occurs during pregnancy at 20 weeks' gestation or later, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The news study found that fetuses that were small for gestational age had a threefold to fourfold higher risk of stillbirth compared to those with normal weight. Being large for gestational weight was also associated with a greater likelihood of stillbirth.

The study appeared online April 22 in the journal PLoS Medicine.

The findings suggest that strategies to prevent stillbirth should focus on identifying fetuses that are small or large for gestational age, according to a journal news release.

This is not part of current practice, noted study author Radek Bukowski and colleagues from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development-funded Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network.

They said that classifying the 10 percent of fetuses at the extreme ends of being too large or small as being abnormal could identify as many as 46 percent of future stillbirths.

While the study found an association between abnormal fetal size and risk of stillbirth, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship. Some aspects of the study's design could affect accuracy, the news release noted.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
 
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
 
slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 
pregnant woman
Article
Woman looking at pregnancy test
Quiz
 
calendar and baby buggy
Tool
dark chocolate squares
Slideshow