Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ

Gynecology and Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist

With over 15 years of professional experience, dozens of national and international research articles, and most importantly, his smiling face, Gynecology and Perinatology Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali EKİZ is with you.

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Counseling for Couples with a Stillbirth Story

What is Counseling for Couples with a History of Stillbirth?

Stillbirth is known as the death of a baby during pregnancy or at birth. The process of processing this painful experience, providing emotional healing, and providing support and guidance for future pregnancies is possible with counseling. This type of loss can have a profound impact on couples, and counseling can be an important tool to support them through this difficult process.

Why Should Couples with a History of Stillbirth Seek Counseling?

We can list the reasons why couples with a history of stillbirth should seek counseling services as follows:

• Emotional support: Stillbirth can create intense emotional trauma for couples. Couples; may have to deal with complex emotions such as grief, loss, shame, anger, guilt and depression. Counseling provides couples with support during this emotional process, helps them express their feelings, and guides the emotional healing process.

• Meaning and acceptance: Couples with a history of stillbirth may seek support to make sense of and accept their loss. Counseling helps couples process the experience, answer questions, and make sense of the pain. It also provides information on how to cope with the normal process of grieving loss.

• Relationship support: A history of stillbirth can have a significant impact on the relationship between couples. Couples may become estranged from each other due to loss, experience communication difficulties, or experience different mourning processes. Counseling offers tools to strengthen communication between couples, support each other, and act together during this difficult process.

• Investigating the cause of the loss: Especially after the loss, families tend to avoid tests that will explain the cause, such as genetic examination and autopsy, due to their pain. In particular, these examinations and examinations guided by predictions regarding the cause of the loss must be carried out. However, couples often leave these processes incomplete and receive counseling. At least subsequent pre-pregnancy examinations must be performed.

• Preparation for future pregnancies: Couples with a history of stillbirth may experience concerns about future pregnancies. Counseling provides couples with support and guidance regarding future pregnancy plans. This may include topics such as medical monitoring, emotional preparation, managing anxiety, and providing information about potential risks during pregnancy.

How to Follow Up Pregnancy in Couples with a History of Stillbirth?

Follow-up of a new pregnancy in someone with a history of stillbirth is a process that requires extra care and attention. We can list the steps of this process as follows:

• Forming a special team: It is important to form a multidisciplinary team to monitor the new pregnancy of someone with a history of stillbirth. This team may consist of obstetricians, perinatologists, genetic counselors and psychosocial support specialists. These specialists support the couple by addressing every aspect of the pregnancy and take appropriate precautions when necessary.

• Genetic counseling: A new pregnancy of someone with a history of stillbirth is a situation that requires genetic counseling. A genetic counselor evaluates couples’ genetic risks, helps them understand the causes of past loss, and provides information about possible genetic testing and screenings. This helps identify potential risks and take appropriate precautions.

• Regular prenatal checks: New pregnancy follow-up includes regular prenatal checks. These controls; It is done to monitor the baby’s growth, health and development. Prenatal checks for someone with a history of stillbirth may be more frequent and detailed. Ultrasound scans are important for assessing the baby’s anatomy and detecting structural abnormalities early. They must be examined by a perinatologist at least twice.

• Emotional support: The experience of a new pregnancy can be emotionally complex for someone with a history of stillbirth. Counseling addresses the couple’s emotional needs, helps them manage their anxiety, and supports the emotional healing process. Psychosocial support specialists can help the couple have a strong support network during this process.

• Extra precautions to be taken: A new pregnancy of someone with a history of stillbirth may require some additional precautions. This may be special screenings, additional tests, or specific protocols to follow. It should generally be performed by perinatology specialists.

• Follow-up of a new pregnancy in someone with a history of stillbirth requires an individualized approach. Therefore, it is important to collaborate with some experts and create a plan that addresses specific needs.

What are the causes of stillbirth?

The causes of stillbirth can be many and the cause is not easily understood. We can list the most common causes of stillbirth as follows:

• Genetic factors: Abnormalities in the baby’s genetic structure may increase the risk of stillbirth. These abnormalities may be in the form of chromosomal disorders or genetic mutations.

• Placental problems: The placenta is a structure that enables the baby to exchange oxygen, nutrients and waste materials. Problems with the placenta can cause the baby to not receive adequate nutrition and oxygen, leading to stillbirth.

• Intrauterine infections: Intrauterine infections are another common cause of stillbirth. These infections can have negative effects on the baby’s development and health.

• Abnormal fetal development: Abnormal development of the baby during the prenatal period may lead to stillbirth. Especially heart and central nervous system anomalies are responsible for a significant portion of stillbirths. A rare cause can be considered as tumors of the baby in the womb.

• Existing diseases of the expectant mother: Some diseases the mother has may increase the risk of stillbirth. Diabetes comes first among these. Rheumatological diseases, kidney failure, kidney transplantation or medications used due to the disease can be listed.

• Placenta and water bladder problems: Problems between the placenta and water bladder may increase the risk of stillbirth. For example; Decreased fluid (oligohydramnios) or excess fluid (hydramnios) can cause stillbirth.

• Pregnancy complications: Some pregnancy complications can increase the risk of stillbirth. These include Preeclampsia and pregnancy cholestasis, a specific liver disease of pregnancy.

MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT WITH PROF. DR. ALİ EKİZ!

You can make your appointment with Perinatology (Risky Pregnancy) Specialist Prof. Dr. Ali Ekiz via the WhatsApp button.

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