Shocking! India has the highest number of stillbirths in the world (but they can be prevented)

Shocking! India has the highest number of stillbirths in the world (but they can be prevented)

Experts say that stillbirths can be prevented by taking the necessary precautions and following a balanced diet during pregnancy.

A shocking report published by the prestigious medical journal The Lancet finds that out of the 2.6 mn stillbirths that happen around the world, half of them could have been prevented. What’s more shocking is that fact that two-thirds of these happen in ten countries, India reporting the highest number with 592,100 stillbirths in 2015.

What The Report Says

The researchers found that half of all stillbirths happen during labour and childbirth, pressing on the needs of better birthing and childcare facilities in developing countries such as Nigeria, Pakistan, China, Ethopia, India and Ghana.

The estimated rate of stillbirth for India was 23.0 per 1000 total births in 2015. The data was compiled by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical medicine in association with the World Health Organisation and Unicef.

“Despite significant reductions in the number of maternal and child deaths, there has been little change in the number of stillbirths (in the third trimester of pregnancy) even though majority of them are preventable. Half of all stillbirths occur during labour and birth, usually after a full nine-month pregnancy, and the research highlights that most of these could be prevented with improved quality care,” says the report which was published in The Hindustan Times.

Preventing Stillbirths

Dr Rahul Manchanda, consultant Gynaecologist Endoscopic surgeon at Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute (PSRI), New Delhi, feels that a big step that you can take to prevent stillbirths and other pregnancy complications is by planning a baby at the right time.

“Having a baby in your prime years, that is between the age of 20-30, would not only prevent a stillbirth but also protect you from other pregnancy complications that happen if you delay your pregnancy,” he says.

He gives the following tips that expectant and to-be moms should keep in mind to avoid stillbirths.

  • Have an active lifestyle to be in the best of your health before and during your pregnancy.
  • Have a healthy, balanced diet to avoid suffering from any nutritional deficiencies even before you start trying for a baby.
  • Before you try for a baby get all the necessary health tests done so that your doctor knows of any health risks that you might be at and could treat them at the right time.
  • Take regular folic acid supplements, which help keep anaemia away, reducing the chances of complications at birth.
  • Follow up with your doctor and make sure that you visit him regularly. The WHO recommends a minimum of 7 trips to the gynaecologist during the entire pregnancy.
  • See your gynaecologist as soon as you miss your period and don’t wait for a long time to confirm the pregnancy. This way you are just delaying the intake of prenatal vitamins, which are crucial in the initial stages of pregnancy for the proper development of the baby.

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