SGA/preterm first babies raise later stillbirth risk

April 1, 2012

Delivering a small-for gestational-age (SGA) baby in a first pregnancy almost doubles the risk of a stillborn baby in a second pregnancy, and when the first baby is born premature, the risk increases more than 5-fold.

Delivering a small-for-gestational-age (SGA) baby in a first pregnancy almost doubles the risk of a stillborn baby in a second pregnancy, and when the first baby is born premature, the risk increases more than 5-fold.

Using data from the New South Wales Midwives Data Collection and the New South Wales Perinatal Death Database, researchers calculated a hazard ratio [HR] of 1.73 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.15-2.60) for stillbirth after delivery of an SGA newborn in a first pregnancy. A premature firstborn further increased the risk for a stillborn second child (HR, 5.65; 95% CI, 1.76-18.12).

Having a stillborn first child was not nearly as influential. For women aged 30 to 34 years, researchers calculated an absolute risk of stillbirth in a second pregnancy up to 40 weeks' gestation of 4.84 per 1,000 in women who first delivered a stillborn baby and 7.19 per 1,000 in women who first delivered an SGA or preterm neonate.

Gordon A, Raynes-Greenow C, McGeechan K, Morris J, Jeffery H. Stillbirth risk in a second pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;119(3):