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 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 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 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 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.

  • By Sam (not verified) on 30 Nov 2018 - 17:31

    I lost my baby girl 6 days ago. The pain is still so raw, physically I’m in much better shape than I’d anticipated. I have a 2 year old boy and we wanted so much a friend for him, a sibling to bond with. I feel like my soul and my heart are breaking in two constantly. But I think trying again would maybe keep my husband and I going as something to aim for. Obviously we will wait until the post-mortem results and our 12 week check but I just wanted to know if this is a normal thought after losing your baby. I want so much to have a house full of happy noisy loving kids xx

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 3 Dec 2018 - 14:38

    Sam, Thank you so much for reading our page and we really hope it is helpful to you at this very sad time. Your desire for another child is very normal but do look after yourself first and give yourself time to heal both physically and mentally. Your consultant should be able to discuss everything with you at the 12 week check and this will give you some healing time. We wish you so much love at this time and are here to support you if you need it. Best wishes

  • By Lucia (not verified) on 25 Nov 2018 - 11:59

    Hi I lost my baby after birth in 26 weeks during birth he was still breathing bt after few hours he passed on my heart is so broken I dnt even wish to try please help me just to heal so that I can try again

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 26 Nov 2018 - 15:54

    Hi Lucia, I am so sorry to read this and we send our condolences to you and your family. It is good that you have found our website and you will read stories from others who have been in your position which will be distressing, but may help you. When you are ready to talk you can call us on 0800 0147 800 for a chat or for some practical advice. With best wishes Tommy's midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 22 Nov 2018 - 23:04

    Hi I lost my baby daughter at 32 weeks on the 4th September 2018 me and husband wants to try again for another baby. We are both ready for another baby. It's been nearly 3 months now since she gone I had a c section. Am I ready to try now? Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Nov 2018 - 10:25

    Hi,
    Firstly I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your daughter. Essentially as long as you feel physically and emotionally ready, then yes it is absolutely fine to start trying for another baby. The only other thing to consider is that if you had a postmortem or any tests carried out for yourself or your daughter then it can be helpful to make sure you have all the results from these in case there is anything that would affect a future pregnancy.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Nuzhatnaz (not verified) on 22 Nov 2018 - 08:27

    My baby girl born in 31 october through c section and a live but suddenly she died after 12 hours when i can conceive again

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 Nov 2018 - 11:46

    Hi Nuzhatnaz, Thank you for sharing your story.

    We are so sorry to hear about the recent loss of your baby girl, we cannot even begin to imagine how you and your family are feeling at this time. With regards to trying again, this will depend on you and when you are physically and emotionally ready. As you have had a C section, you need to give your body time to recover. Your body is still healing after having a c section and can take a good 6 weeks or more. Physical healing can be easier then mental healing, so you may want to speak to your Dr at your 6 week check with regards to trying again. It is important that you are ready physically and emotionally and your Dr and midwife should be able to offer you the help and support that you need. If you would like additional support from us then please email on [email protected] or call on 0800 0147 800 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. We are here if you need any guidance and support when you are ready. Be kind to yourself at this time, Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Alacia (not verified) on 8 Oct 2018 - 12:22

    Hi I had a really healthy pregnancy up until 29 weeks when I couldn't feel my baby move. I went to the hospital where they discovered the baby had severe brain anomoly which was confirmed by an MRI the following day. The doctor told me that the baby was incompaitable to life. They originally thought it was cmv virus which later confirmed it wasn't rather it was much more serious. The doctor told us that the baby suffered from severe brain anomoly which impacted on the baby growth. Long story short his cerebellum was distorted and the brain was below the 1st centile and they advised termination. My partner and I terminated and now I want answers.

    Why did the doctors not notice this earlier?? Why did they only notice this brain anomoly at 29 weeks? Why did they not pick it up on the 22 week scan?

    I want to try conceive as soon as possible. It has been two weeks is this fine. I had a natural delivery and did not tear. My body physically feels normal. I continued to take folate???

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Oct 2018 - 09:35

    Hi Alacia,
    I am so sorry to hear this. You and your partner have been through a real trauma and it is quite normal to want answers. I would suggest that you make an arrangement to go and see the consultant over-seeing your care. These questions would be best answered by him or her. Did you give consent for a post-mortem?
    If so, this can take up to 6 weeks for results to be available. Some people would advise you to wait until this time before conceiving again. It gives your body time to recover from the pregnancy, but ultimately the decision about when to conceive is yours and your partners. If you want to talk or have a listening ear, we are here to support you on 0800 0147 800. Best wishes

  • By kelsom chiyang (not verified) on 7 Oct 2018 - 07:56

    I had stillbirth baby boy on 23rd September 2018 and I have already 2 daughters. I want to try for one son so when will be the right time. help me please

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Oct 2018 - 09:21

    Hi, So sorry to hear this. It is still very early for you. Please take your time to recover physically. Pregnancy takes a lot out of you. There is no hard and fast rule about when to conceive again, but some doctors recommend that you wait at least until your period returns. With best wishes to you, from Tommy's midwives

  • By char (not verified) on 6 Oct 2018 - 19:46

    I am a first time mom I delivered naturally 3mnths ago but after 7days discovered the baby's kidney is not functioning well with high sugar level which leta lead to his death. I been so heart broken since den,thou bn trying to conceive again but its not forth coming don't kno if its because my breast milk still comes out and my flow has not return after de delivery flow dat is the cause

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Oct 2018 - 09:14

    So sorry to hear about the death of your son. Yes it is still early days and you may not be ready to conceive again yet, either physically or mentally. Take your time and give your body some time to recover. We have a closed Facebook group which you may be interested in joining. It gives a space for you to ask questions and gain support from others who have been through the trauma of stillbirth or neonatal death. www.facebook.com/groups/Tommysblsupport
    Best wishes

  • By Keabetswe (not verified) on 30 Sep 2018 - 16:18

    Hi, i lost my son due to high blood pressure on 8 may 2018 being my first child its really diffucult to expect the lose. I waited for 4 months before trying again for a baby, now i pregnant again im soo scared the high blood pressure will come again please help.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Oct 2018 - 15:36

    Hi Keabetswe, So sorry to her about your loss and I hope your pregnancy goes well. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to lower your blood pressure in late pregnancy but at this stage, please make sure that you are active and eating a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables and not too much fat. We have some good advice about healthy diets on our site.
    If your blood pressure does start to increase towards the end of your pregnancy , the doctors may consider induction of labour earlier than usual. Please keep in touch and if you are unsure what to do, you can call us on 0800 0147 800.

  • By Temmie (not verified) on 20 Sep 2018 - 07:42

    so painful

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Sep 2018 - 12:11

    Dear Temmie, So sorry to hear that you have had a stillbirth. You are right that it is the most painful time and we send our deepest sympathies. I really hope that you gain some comfort from reading our website and the many stories published here. If you need to talk please call us on 0800 0147 800. Take good care of yourself x

  • By Lola (not verified) on 19 Sep 2018 - 20:14

    Hi I am Lola I had a baby born at 26 weeks and he made it he is now 14. On 2017 I decided it was time to get pregnant and I told my doctor that I might never go full term that’s what my files said .. @36 weeks I gave birth to my stillborn baby due to a placenta abruption. My question here is what precautions to take if I want to try again? The doctor said none but I don’t trust this there should be more concerns about me I should be taken care of more. Because I am considered a high risk pregnancy. I never had High blood of pressure but my feel got swollen all the sudden the doctor said that was normal but to what point is it normal
    Once I hit 33 weeks I felt like I was ready to have my son I am scared to try again because I think I deserve more attention into my pregnancy the o my thing I was getting was makena shots to hold the baby longer time. But I went thru my medical files and that’s where I found out that I will never go into full term and that my pregnancies will need to be premature and I was high risk for uterus ruptured and I will always need a c-section. This makes me this why did I have a placenta abruption if I was put in the hospital at 30 weeks can this problem been prevented?? Why do they tell me nothing should be different?? I hate the fact that sometimes we are not taken care of the way we should.. I need help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 Sep 2018 - 15:35

    Hello Lola,
    Really sorry to learn about your stillbirth and understand all the questions which you want answered. There are no simple answers here but in a future pregnancy you would certainly be considered 'high risk' and additional testing and monitoring would be necessary. Placental abruption isn't easily predicted or prevented but I wonder if you would like to give us a call to discuss your concerns in more detail. We are here Monday to Friday 9-5pm. 0800 0147 800. Best wishes from Tommy's midwives

  • By Bryanna (not verified) on 15 Aug 2018 - 18:49

    Me and my husband have been trying to have a baby for 5 months now after the loss of our son. Every time my period comes I'm an emotional wreck. I'm scared I can't get pregnant again. We have been doing everything right. Could I be infertile now? I had slot of trauma to my uterus and had an infection.

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