Helpful links that may provide answers at the bottom of this page

The following pages contain information that I found in my research for answers to questions about my daughter's stillbirth. I needed to understand what the autopsy's explanation of her "fetal demise" really meant and why it gave 2 pages of info on the Velamentous Cord Insertion, but then refused to acknowledge it as a cause of death. It simply said, "There was a VCI, but this is non-conclusive findings, there is no known cause of death". This was a healthy fetus with no malformation or disease".

I also had several health issues during my pregnancy. Since then I have delved into to find out what effect they may have had in compromising Grace's health in the womb. In my entire search I found that so few parents have answers to the cause of their baby's death. Most say they were told there was "no known cause," or "inconclusive findings," or they were told it was "a cord issue." There are far too many people left without answers. Each year in the United States more than 40,000 babies are reported stillborn, and more than half of those will not have a documented, known cause of death. The 40,000 do not even include all those precious babies that were miscarried at less than 20 weeks gestation, SIDS babies or neonatal deaths.

I was only able to find one doctor in the U.S. who has given some of the necessary time needed to find real answers and real solutions to this issue. He brings to light the many complexities involved in a baby dying in the womb, and in preventing stillbirth. His name is Dr. Jason Collins and he has been an O.B. for over 25 years and practices in his own clinic in Louisiana. He has done extensive research for the past 15 years on the issue of stillbirth. You can download his book, "Silent Risk" for free at He explains how excellent prenatal care and the awareness of key issues (babies movement during each 24 hour period and heart rate during the hours of 12am to 6am) are vital in the survival of a vulnerable baby in the womb of it's mother. I had so many of my questions answered by him personally in our phone conversations. Unfortunately, the answers were only able to provide understanding of her cause of death. We could not turn back the clock and use his care to prevent her from being stillborn. He would have been able to offer the crucial insight needed to recognize Grace's need for an early delivery.

Please read this info. Pass it on to any women you know who are pregnant, having a baby, or are in the medical field working with pregnant women. I did find out that my daughter very likely would still be alive today had my doctors been paying closer attention to my symptoms and questions. Had I been under Dr Collin's care, or even under a "high-risk" care, I would have been monitored for several days at the hospital because I had less and less movement from my baby. She also had the Velamentous Cord Insertion -VCI (seen on ultrasound and is explained in Dr. Collin's book "Silent Risk" pg 10-11 & chapter 5 & 6). They would have seen her heart rate decrease as my heart rate decreased when I was at rest. They would have seen that she was in distress as her cord connection gave less oxygen and food, and they would have induced or delivered her immediately.

It is a sad truth in our country that "ignorance is bliss" for so many. If the doctors were to admit that they knew the baby had potential problems with the cord or the placenta or something else (seen on the ultra sound); then they would be liable and could legally be held responsible for not preventing their death. Dr. Collins shared how he monitors the pregnancy most often between 11pm and 6am when he has seen any activity or lack of that has caused concern. It is at that time that the moms go into a resting heart rate and there is much less blood flow to the baby and the baby will start to show signs of distress.

Other issues are health coverage and finances. In order to prevent having 40,000 stillbirths a year, it would mean there would have to be more ultrasounds and more monitoring of women, with and without a high-risk status. That means more money... and who is willing to help pay? There would also have to be an extensive amount of research done, in a collaborative effort, by medical professional around the world. There would have to be laws put into place which would regulate all the information received on the autopsies, and the tests done, so that a research team could start a true analysis of the causes of stillbirth and it's prevention. Currently no such laws or regulations exist. It is my hope that one day this will all come together and it won't be just a hope, but a reality. It is hard to imagine though, any of this happening in the near future, when I see a world that consistently shows a lack of value for those not yet born. I loved my baby...way before she was even born. She was valued far beyond anything this world could ever offer.

Helpful links that may provide answers

Medical Research & Answers from Dr. Collins of
the Pregnancy Institute

Understanding the importance of the umbilical cord

Group B Strep

Group B Strep Support

Research on diseases: The March of Dimes

DES exposure


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