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What does the term "stillborn" mean to you?

I ask because I know of a female who lost her baby at 15 weeks and she refers to her baby as being a stillbirth. Is it just me, or is that incorrect? Wouldn't it be a miscarriage? (In Just for Fun only cause nothing else really fits this question.)


Asked by ajtherad at 1:42 PM on Oct. 21, 2009 in Just for Fun

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Answers (16)
  • According to the definitions are -Stillbirth: The tragic birth of a dead baby, the delivery of a fetus that has died before birth. There is no possibility of resuscitation. The word "stillbirth" is a fusion of "still" in the now-obsolete sense of "dead" and "birth" = dead birth.

    The distinction between a stillbirth and a miscarriage is arbitrary. The dividing line is variously set at 20 to 24 weeks of gestation. Before that time it is a miscarriage (also called a spontaneous abortion). After that time it is a stillbirth.


    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 2:28 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • IMO, Stillborn refers to a baby that would be viable outside of the womb that did not survive thru pregnancy or labor...miscarriage is for babies that do not survive to the viable stage.

    Answer by Jademom07 at 1:44 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • To me, a baby that is stillborn is one who was born but was already gone. (I hate to use the D word when referring to babies!) But yes, I believe what she had was a miscarriage.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:45 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • I agree with the other two answers

    Answer by Jacqalyn at 1:47 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • I would say it was a miscarriage...a late term miscarriage or something. I wouldn't say stillborn. If he were born after 22, 23, 24 weeks, then yes...but my definition would be one that if the baby were born alive, he or she could have lived on the outside world. If the baby would have been born alive at 15 weeks, he or she would have died.

    That being said, I wouldn't argue the point, because I miscarried at 8 weeks and it was a horrible time for me (DH had just left on deployment, etc.)...I couldn't imagine at 15 weeks.

    Answer by jlry_ldy at 1:48 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Yes, she had a miscarriage. Stillborn is when it could have survived, but for whatever reason, didn't. Full term dead baby.

    Answer by Pnukey at 1:49 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Well textbook-wise, she had a miscarriage. In her mind and heart though, that was her baby and whether it's a miscarriage, stillbirth, or otherwise, losing a child is never an easy thing to go through. I say just let her call it whatever she wants because I'm sure she's not in the right state of mind to be like, "Wait, let me look up and see how I lost my baby so I can put the right name on it." I'm not trying to sound like a smart ass, but if my friend lost her baby, the farthest thing from my mind would be if whether or not she was using the correct terminology.

    Answer by nicolemstacy at 1:51 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • drs dont really called it miscarrie its a different term I know this b/c I started to bleed at 14weeks and 6days and they were worry that I was going to have my son but I didn't and last until 24weeks and 1day (my son lived btw) the term stillborn is when the baby dieds in the womb and born deid!

    Answer by enaNianza at 1:55 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • To me it means a baby produced after labor that is not alive. I say produced for lack of a better word.

    Answer by Jguevara at 1:58 PM on Oct. 21, 2009

  • Technically "stillborn" refers to a baby that passes away after 32 weeks of pregnancy. I would let her call it what she wants though, 15 weeks is still a tragedy.

    Answer by MommyKKay at 2:00 PM on Oct. 21, 2009