Trying for another baby after a stillbirth

Information and advice on trying for another baby after a stillbirth

When should I try for a baby after a stillbirth?

Making the decision to try again for another baby after a stillbirth is a very personal one.

What is right for one couple might not be for another. You may not feel ready to even read this, while another couple may want try for another baby as soon as possible.

Talk together as a couple, but don't be surprised if one of you feels ready before the other. It can be normal for sexual relations to be affected following stillbirth Talk to each other and seek advice from your GP or practice nurse if this persists.

It’s a good idea to allow your body time to recover physically from the pregnancy and birth. Understanding the best timing to start trying again can be confusing and you may receive conflicting advice from professionals.

The standard advice given to parents who have not suffered a stillbirth is to wait for six months to a year before trying again but this does not take your emotional well-being into consideration. We’d recommend talking to an obstetrician, who is a specialist in woman's health and is likely to have more experience with stillbirth.

‘The single biggest thing that helped with my grief was my second son. He was born less than a year after Tristan as we tried for him, successfully, as soon as we had the post mortem results come back to say that Tristan was perfect. The results told us that the placenta was the problem.’ Sarah, who lost her son Tristan at 38 weeks

You may also wish to wait for results from any tests done after your baby died, or a post-mortem. These results might reveal a specific problem and you’ll want to know if this could affect a future pregnancy, or if it can be treated.

Other factors such as your age or general health might affect the timing of when you try again too.

You will have a follow up postnatal appointment with your GP to check your physical health six weeks following the birth. You can also ask questions about future pregnancies if you feel ready to discuss this. Many couples wait until the six-week GP appointment before having sex again.

If you do decide to try again start taking folic acid and make any necessary lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking and alcohol to ensure you’re in the best possible health before starting to try.

When will I be fertile again after a stillbirth?

Your next period usually comes around five to six weeks after the birth of your baby. However it is normal to bleed for a few weeks following the birth of a baby. This is called lochia. Lochia starts after the birth, is heavy and red for 3-5 days and then is brown or pink and lighter for up to around 10 days. It can sometimes be hard to know whether the blood is your period or lochia.

Read more about the physical effects of a stillbirth.

You will probably ovulate and be fertile two weeks before your first period so you could become pregnant very shortly after the stillbirth. However, it is advisable to wait until any scars have healed (for example from an episiotomy or tear) and your cervix has re-closed, to avoid the risk of infection (for the mother). You may find it helpful to discuss contraception with your GP, midwife or health visitor until you feel ready to try again.

If you are taking anti-depressants

You may have been offered anti-depressants to support you if the shock and trauma of losing your child has caused you to become clinically depressed. If you are taking medication, it is very important to talk to your GP before conceiving again as certain medications can affect your pregnancy and may need careful management.

Fertility issues

If you conceived your baby through fertility treatment, you may be feeling very daunted about trying again. Perhaps you’re not certain you’ll qualify for further NHS treatment. You may decide you don’t want to experience fertility treatment again. All of these factors make the pregnancy journey more complex.

Read about being pregnant again after a stillbirth

Read more about stillbirth

    Last reviewed on September 8th, 2017. Next review date September 8th, 2020.

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    Comments

    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Kitcats (not verified) on 14 Feb 2020 - 07:29

      My son was born sleeping on the 26th nov 2019. I was bleeding for 3 weeks prior, on the 25th o went to the bathroom and saw my boys umbilical cord (prolapse cord) I knew what it meant and my heart broke. Hospital told me my waters had broke and but his heart was still beating but he would pass. He fell asleep the following day and I gave birth to him and spent the week with him. The pain dont ease. I'm so scared of becoming pregnant and it happening again. All they said is test shows I had signs of infection in my membranes. He is my 5th son and perfect. My biggest tiny 5oz blessing x

    • By Shivel (not verified) on 1 Feb 2020 - 19:34

      I wake up the morning going to my appointment at the clinic but i was feeling a little sick.when it came my time to see the nurse she said she is not hearing the baby heart beat.she gave me a referral to bring to the hospital.when i reach the hospital it was a little after 11:00 AM i was seen by a doctor and told to wait on another doctor to do an ultrasound to see what the problem was. The other doctor didn't come until 9:30PM-10:00PM to do the ultrasound. We went in the room to do the ultrasound and she told me my baby was dead.if they had done the ultrasound the same time i reach there the umbilical cord wouldn't have stiffle him ,he would have been alive today.

    • By Theona (not verified) on 25 Jan 2020 - 16:51

      I lost my baby on 10/01/2020 i was 20 weeks and few days, My heart was sore and i felt like committing suicide, my husband and family were supportive, i had two miscarriages before, but i found a reason to live i want babies and i will have plenty . I still have hope and i want to try again. Thank you for this website it mativates me daily.

    • By Kaur (not verified) on 17 Jan 2020 - 19:41

      I had a stillbirth due to placenta abruption on the 29th of December. Everything was there, he was handsome. It was an induced delivery. How long do I have to wait to try again? I feel emotionally ready but I know I have to wait for at least until after my check up.

    • By Ani Favored Patience (not verified) on 13 Jan 2020 - 14:13

      That was not actually a stillbirth. The baby was kicking right before he was born. He was gasping for breath immediately after birth. He heavily breathed out like a 100m sprinter before he gave up (same time, same day after birth). I am surprised that this happens to my baby boy. I don't know if there's a correlation. No history of asthma in the family. is it dangerous for my wife to conceive just a month after this?

    • By Vanisree (not verified) on 7 Feb 2020 - 14:56

      Hi,
      I lost my baby on dec 11 2019. Even I dont know what happened. He was in NICU for 2 days. He also had breathing issues . They told lung infection.. it is always good to wait for atleast 6months. And know the reason for ur loss before planning for pregnancy.

    • By Joy Ofoni (not verified) on 23 Dec 2019 - 17:47

      I lost my boys 21 /11/19 ..so painful I don't know how to move on now the pain is killing me..how long can I wait to try again?

    • By Carol (not verified) on 20 Jan 2020 - 22:18

      I’m so sorry for you. My daughter lost her twin boys on 24/11/19 and we are all so devastated. It’s truly been such a hard journey. Take each day as it comes and don’t blame yourself. She is struggling so hard and I’m just lost for words. Holding my two little stillborn grandsons and missing the dreams we had is just heartbreaking. Take care of yourself and let’s pray for a healthy baby to come and a brighter 2020 ❤️

    • By PRETTY (not verified) on 20 Nov 2019 - 11:56

      I LOST MY BABY BOY AT 38 WEEKS HE PASSED ON 10 MINUTES BEFORE I COULD DELIVERY THE BABY WAS HEALTHY SO WAS I THE DOCTOR JUST SAID THE BABY WAS DISTRESSING ITS BEEN 9 MONTHS SINCE THE LOSS AND I FIND IT HAD TO TRY AGAIN ITS AS IF AM UNABLE TO CONCEIVE AGAIN PLEASE HELP

    • By Mrs imran (not verified) on 9 Jan 2020 - 11:00

      Hi beautiful,
      My name's Mrs imran and I can assure you your heart lies with my heart I feel every pricing pain that the caps lock on those words are havocing how you want the world to know to scream and shout at the pain you've had to bear I lost my baby boy stillborn he would of been 3years old last November on the 24th ..and his brother would of been 2 he was a ended pregnancy I hate to use the actual word it's so raw and in imaginable I had a 8month gap befoe the second try and he didn't survive so now it's been two years they've flown by at first I was apprehensive about the thought of it but with time and smoking I think about trying again I didn't cope well with the loss no pills or therapy could get me through so if write on the notes how I feel and I think theses things take time I understand your precious baby was healthy but theses things are not in our hands what God wills ..I'm not those mundane god preaching presepiants I'm just a mum who's gone through pain at a much younger age maturing through pain not age

    • By Emmald (not verified) on 28 Jan 2020 - 09:57

      i lost my baby boy at 39 weeks and it was heart breaking. but I know my angel is up there watching over us.

      my partner and I have been trying again every month for a brother or sister for our Angel from 3 months after he passed. its now been 10 months and we still haven't conceived, I am so scared that we wont be able to fall again too... has any one got any advice/help for us?

    • By Polly (not verified) on 7 Oct 2019 - 23:53

      Hi, I had a stillborn baby at 28 weeks. I had preeclampsia and later my placenta abrupted. I was almost going everyday or every alternative day for my regular BP check ups and blood tests. I had preeclampsia with my 1st one as well so I was going for more check ups than normal and even getting admitted. Do you why this happened? I lost lots of blood and my other organs started to bleed as well. I was given lots of blood and other blood component.

      Please advise. I have now been told that i am a very high risk due to preeclampsia and placenta abruption. I also used fertility clinic.

      Thank you.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Oct 2019 - 10:46

      Hi Polly, I am so sorry to read about your stillbirth. Severe pre-eclampsia affects 1-2% of pregnancies and the exact causes remain unknown. You will certainly be treated as high risk in another pregnancy, although you will not necessarily be affected. You can read more here https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/pregnancy-complications/pre-eclampsia-information-and-support

    • By dammy (not verified) on 3 Oct 2019 - 07:49

      when I gave birth to my first born I didnt menstruate till 1year and 4 month after I stop breastfeeding now I lost my pregnancy I dont know if I will menstruate now

    • By brenda (not verified) on 27 Sep 2019 - 21:11

      hi, i lost my baby boy at 33 weeks, i underwent a c section and the doctor told me that my baby's heart was too weak for him to live. i am already pregnant just three months after c section. Should i terminate the pregnancy due to the health risk, or i try my luck again with this baby, am very anxious for your reply, thanks.

    • By twinmom (not verified) on 19 Jun 2019 - 09:24

      hi. I lost my twin boys at 24 weeks and 5 days. I experienced contractions the whole night before. I thought it was Braxton hicks but they just got worse and closer together so I rushed to the hospital 4 hours after my first contraction. I delivered my boys that night both alive. one of my babies passed away immediately and one survived for 6 days. I had a cerclage put it at around 14 weeks because my cervix was showing to be open on an ultrasound. I am 2 months post partum now and my c section scar still feels a bit sore at times. I am longing to try again but what does the issue of my cervix mean for my future pregnancies ? will I ever be able to carry a baby to full term because of my cervix? is it advisable for me to try and conceive again after a few months?

    • By Heartbroken (not verified) on 9 Jun 2019 - 20:17

      I went into early labour at 23 weeks and gave birth to a little girl that suffered to breathe and passed away after 1 hour. I have been trying since 1996 to fall pregnant again but with no success. I really miss my only Angel that left us so lonely. What could the problem be.

    • By Mark (not verified) on 1 May 2019 - 14:33

      My daughter have been through 4 miscarriages and have been through a still born delivery at home on Monday my daughter took herself to the hospital as she was in labour she was a week overdue the midwife monitored her son Michael heartbeat for half an hour and done a internal the midwife told my daughter she was in exstablish labour but not yet dilated she sent her home told her she book her in to be reduce on Wednesday my daughter felt that she a profession she knows best considering she was in so much pain the midwife said you be more comfortable at home my daughter she endure the same pain and at 1.40 in the morning called her mother up to the bedroom and said I think his coming mum my wife delivered my daughter son her grandson still born the paramedics came just a minute after Michael was born they tried to resusitate until they got him to the hospital he was pronounced dead soon after arriving my wife is trumatised and daughter upset and sad she have been in the delivery suite room with her son over night listening to others have there babies why is she made to suffer like that will she ever be a mum I’m gutted for her

    • By Annie (not verified) on 19 Aug 2019 - 09:38

      I also have the same problem my dear love,at first I lost a son Everisto at 40 weeks 3 days due to oligohydramnios, second I lost a girl at 26 weeks 5 days due to the same problem, I don't know what to do and how to get rid of it.please dear let's ask our creator to give us more

    • By Bene (not verified) on 25 Mar 2019 - 21:32

      Is there any risk in tryIng for another one n

    • By Samanthi (not verified) on 23 Mar 2019 - 07:12

      I was pregnant with my little angel but unfortunately I lost her at 33 weeks, I felt someone took my baby girl away from me, I want get my sweet heart back which means need to pregnant again . I had c-section on 20 September 2018. Can I get conceive now?

    • By Lauren (not verified) on 26 May 2019 - 19:43

      I lost my son at the same stage of my pregnancy and i miss him dearly but i was suppose to have 3 kids with him so its making me want another baby. Sorry for your loss

    • By Gabby (not verified) on 22 Mar 2019 - 17:16

      I havent been able to concive since my stillbirth and that was 15 yrs ago...
      My recent doctor told me i was fine an fertile! So why cant i consive..??

    • By Sandra (not verified) on 22 Mar 2019 - 13:24

      I gave birth to a stillbirth child and nurse told us that it was macerated stillbirth whereby its skin had started pilling off and she said that she was unable to identify the problem because it was not due to umbrical cord, neither placenta, and it has been 3 months and we feel like trying for another child is it too early? Please advise

    • By Ivone (not verified) on 15 Feb 2019 - 06:49

      July 19,2018 i has to get a cerclage because I was dilating too early at 19 weeks pregnant.
      On August 11, 2018 i lost my baby girl at 23 weeks pregnant. Doctors said if i went to labor she was too small to give any cpr. If it was needed. At 3:43am she was born but with no vitals signs. It was the most painful thing i had to through. Seeing my baby beside me and couldn't do anything for her to breathe. I would never underatand why after my cerclage my doctors didn't prescribed any time of medecine to make it further in my pregnancy. Sometimes I feel guilty of what my baby had to go thru. Maybe if i had spoke she would be with me by my side.

    • By Suhaiif (not verified) on 14 Feb 2019 - 08:27

      Hi I lost my baby girl on 11/1/2019 at 33 week by c section I want to get pregnant soon it was my first baby after 4 years of marriage plzz give me some advice..

    • By Mayuri (not verified) on 27 Mar 2019 - 15:11

      Hi am very sorry for ur loss am also lost my baby girl at 28 weeks.it was sad thing and undigestable thing in every women life.trying for another baby after still birth is our personal choice but only thing is firstly we should prepare physically and mentally bestrong to try another baby and take our gynec suggestions also important all the best

    • By Raya (not verified) on 9 Feb 2019 - 15:08

      We lost both of our twin girls on the 17th of January and gave birth to them in the 21st. It’s been so hard, but I do find myself desperate to bring a baby into our home. We are blessed with 4 children, already. But, my heart aches for another. Thank you for the article. It is very informative.

    • By joy (not verified) on 4 Feb 2019 - 07:48

      I delivered my baby stillborn last December 11,2018. Now, i am back to work and feeling ready to try again. I had a heavy period last Jan. 21st and had sex on the 28th, is it safe to get pregnant 2 months after delivery?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 15 Feb 2019 - 11:24

      Dear Joy,
      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby so recently. It is a very personal decision as to when to try again for another baby, if you feel physically and emotionally ready then this is the most important. If you had a post mortem with your baby, then it can help to wait until all test results are back. However, they may not come back with anything so it is your decision what you feel is best.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Lala (not verified) on 24 Jul 2019 - 02:27

      Hi. I lost our first baby at 36 weeks. I undergo CS operation last June 20, 2019. Im 41 years old and we really wanted to have children. I dont think its ok to conceive after 6 months, Godwilling. I would appreciate some advice. God bless us all.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Jul 2019 - 10:04

      Hi Lala
      Most Obstetric doctors would recommend 18 months between pregnancies where birth occurred by CS to ensure that the body has healed properly after major abdominal surgery. Please take good care of yourself and make an appt to see your Dr to discuss your plan for the next pregnancy so they can make a plan of care with you and your partner. Pregnancy after baby loss is difficult ad you will need good care and support. Please take care, Tommy's Midwife

    • By Caroll (not verified) on 31 Jan 2019 - 08:43

      I lost my princess 3dys after delivery they said she swallowed lots f water don't know which one though I keep on foreplayng the what if's I'm scared of trying again

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 31 Jan 2019 - 10:38

      Dear Caroll - I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your daughter. If you would like to discuss this in more detail please contact us via email [email protected] or on our pregnancy information line 08000147800.

    • By Suhaiif (not verified) on 14 Feb 2019 - 09:13

      I have also loss my baby girl recently on 11/1/2019..I had a c section it was my first baby...I want to conceive again

    • By precious (not verified) on 30 Apr 2019 - 22:58

      iam 18years n i gave birth to a stillborn child um so hurt to lost my bby girl must i try again ot wait for the right time

    • By Lelo (not verified) on 26 Jan 2019 - 01:47

      I had noticed on Christmas day that my baby was not kicking so I rushed to the hospital only to find out that my boy died..it was due to high blood pressure which was normal through out my pregnancy..I'm physically and emotionally ready to try again but the doctor suggests I should wait until 6 to 12 months...

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 29 Jan 2019 - 13:43

      Hi Lelo. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your little boy. If you ever need to talk, please feel free to get in touch via email or our helpline.
      I hope you are being well supported by family, friends and your medical team. Sending our condolences, Tommy's Midwife

    • By Omobolaji (not verified) on 25 Jan 2019 - 13:48

      I lost my baby after birth in July 12 and I didn't have any sexual intercourse till 20th of November last year and since last year November I have been trying to conceive all to no avail.....My menstruation are coming late and it lighter than usual. ...all the signs am seeing some are that of pregnancy but the home pregnancy test am doing is negative.....all so confused, I don't know know what to do and am dying hard to get pregnant again.

    • By Moreen (not verified) on 19 Jan 2019 - 19:34

      I really fill so bad about this bt am so desperate. I fill that I really need to get pregnant again I fill so ready...is it possible for me to start trying?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 25 Jan 2019 - 10:49

      Dear Moreen,
      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby so recently. It is a very personal choice as to when you would like to try again, for some this is straight away and others it can take a long time before they feel ready. If you feel this is the right thing for you then yes you can try again straight away.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Fides (not verified) on 10 Jan 2019 - 13:02

      I was 33 weeks pregnant and on 8december l couldn't hear the baby move so l rushed to the hospital where they said the heart was not beating. they said it was because of too much amniotic fluid, and the baby had another defect in the brain, too much cerebral fluid. What could be the possible causes? How can l prevent it? What are the chances that it can happen again if l get pregnant again?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 10 Jan 2019 - 14:42

      Thank you for your message.
      I am so sorry to hear of your loss and my heartfelt condolences to you. Unfortunately, without knowing more details it is very hard to advise and share relevant information with you. If you would like to share more detail please email us on [email protected] or call our pregnancy information line on 08000147800.

    • By Bimpe (not verified) on 28 Dec 2018 - 19:18

      I had stillbirth at 38weeks on August 14th, we discovered that baby was not moving on August 12th. I have been trying to conceive since then but the problem is, I'm yet to have my first postpartum menses, although I had bright red blood during lochia. Lochia didn't stop until over 2months.

      Please what can I do to aid mensuration or ovulated. I'm super worried, I feel getting pregnant again will aid my emotion.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2019 - 13:05

      Dear Bimpe,
      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. For many parents who experience the loss of a baby, they find they do want to conceive again soon afterwards. It can take a few months for your cycle to settle and your period to return, it can also be affected by your emotional well being especially if you are feeling stressed and worried. It may help to try to work on your emotional health and find ways to support this such as exercise, keeping a diary/journal and talking to those you trust or getting some more professional talking therapy support via your GP or bereavement midwife. If we can support you further then please do email us [email protected]
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Anne (not verified) on 28 Dec 2018 - 14:02

      i had a still birth at 25weeks on 11/05/2018, i had my period on 25/06/2018 since then i have been trying to conceive but in vain. am so worried what could be the problem?

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Jan 2019 - 12:58

      Dear Anne,
      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby and your subsequent concerns about trying to conceive for another pregnancy. It can be very normal to take up to a year to conceive, so it is highly possible that there is not anything wrong and it will happen in time. Conception can be affected by all sorts of different things, including your emotional well being, physical health and your social environment. We do have a pre-conception tool that maybe helpful on our website just to check that you have everything covered. If you are worried or if you get to a year of trying and have not conceived then do see your GP for a review. If we can support you further then please do email us [email protected]
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By By Anonymous (not verified) on 13 Dec 2018 - 14:36

      16 Sept 2018, i had given birth to my stillbirth cute baby boy. This was said to be due to placenta abruptio. Now I have had my normal periods for 3 months. I really really want to try for another baby as soon as i can, i feel ready emotionally and physically, is this the right time to try again? Advice please

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 14 Dec 2018 - 15:47

      Hi,
      Yes if you feel physically and emotionally ready then this is fine. It can be a good idea to make sure you have any results of any tests or investigations, but it is a completely personal choice when to try again for another baby.
      Best wishes
      Tommy's midwife

    • By Michelle (not verified) on 4 Jan 2019 - 23:24

      I'm sorry for your loss :( I gave birth to my stillborn daughter the same day. I hope you and I both are pregnant soon.

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