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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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 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.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Aug 2018 - 11:24

    Dear Bryanna,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your son and what you are going through at the moment. It can be very normal for conception to take up to a year or longer. I am sure that you are doing everything right, it is also important to look after your emotional health too though. If you are feeling very stressed and anxious, then this can affect your chances of conceiving, so do look after yourself and think about ways to have some self care. In addition, you can speak with your GP about having some counselling if you feel this may help.
    If you do not conceive after a year of trying then do see your GP for advice.
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Biver (not verified) on 23 Aug 2018 - 11:52

    I have also been trying for three months now and also an emotional wreck when I see my period. I just want to try take my mind off it as i believe my body is not ready.

  • By Esther (not verified) on 14 Aug 2018 - 22:32

    I could feel my baby's movement in the morning but as the day goes by he was not moving. I was worried but waited until next day. So the next day I went for check up and the doctor suggested me to do sonography and it was confirm that my baby was already dead. I was heartbroken as he was 26 weeks. After 6 days I was able to give birth to my stillbirth baby through normal delivery. But I want to know after how long can i become pragnancy again. I want to try as soon but is it safe

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 16 Aug 2018 - 11:15

    Hi Esther,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your little boy.
    Trying again for another baby is very personal, and essentially it is up to you when you feel physically and emotionally ready. For many if you have had a de-brief appointment or consented to a post mortem for your baby then it can be helpful to wait for any results or reports to have come back as this may help with another pregnancy.
    I hope this helps, if you would like further support then please do email us [email protected]
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Tola (not verified) on 9 Aug 2018 - 16:09

    I had my princess at 41weeks and lost her right from the womb due to high blood pressure. Its been two weeks now though I had tears but it has healed up . It's so pain but nothing can bring back my princess so I have decided to move ahead. Please I feel I'm ready to try again. Is it advisable?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 13 Aug 2018 - 16:20

    So sorry for your loss Tola. Please take good care of yourself. Many doctors advise to wait until you have your first period before you try again. This can help to date a pregnancy. You should certainly wait until you have stopped bleeding before you recommence sexual intercourse, but if you do become pregnant straight away there is every chance that you will be fine. Talk to your doctor about your blood pressure and make sure that you are in good health first. Best wishes

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 Aug 2018 - 21:02

    Please advice, i had my baby girl on 12th june 2018 but she slept immediately after birth, I have been trying to conceieve again since then, I have done my first postpartum period. What can i do to get pregnant first. I really need help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 7 Aug 2018 - 16:43

    I am sorry to hear about your baby girl-I hope you are receiving support for this. Make sure you are healthy and feel ready to try for your next baby. I have attached some links with more information for you-

    please contact Tommys PregnancyLine 0800 0147 800 for more advice
    Take care
    Tommy's midwife

  • By bradley (not verified) on 5 Aug 2018 - 03:16

    It's been a year since our still born and we have been trying for another baby we already have 2 perfect sons and want to have another baby but we have both taken tests were both fertile and do it when my gf is ovulating and everything it's been 3 months into trying and still no baby :(

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Aug 2018 - 11:08

    Hi Bradley, Sorry that you have been through such a trauma. It takes time for many couples to conceive and it doesn't mean that anything is wrong. Try our pregnancy planning tool to check whether there is anything either of you could do increase your health and your chances of a pregnancy

  • By anonymous (not verified) on 1 Aug 2018 - 09:14

    I had a stillbirth may 4 2017 & July 29 2018 both boys but the other stillbirth was through cs...I don't know how to get over it and am scared of getting pregnant again...although my blood pressure rise at 34 weeks but no protein in my urine.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Aug 2018 - 12:54

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your two sons.I can only imagine how hard that has been for you. Would you please get in touch via our helpline (0800 0147800) or email ([email protected]) so that i can send you some further information that would be both useful and supportive for you in grieving your babies and in planning a planning a future pregnancy. I do hope that you get in touch soon, so that we can help you.
    Sending love and condolences
    Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

  • By flora (not verified) on 28 Jul 2018 - 13:20

    I was pregnant for 9 month and attend to the hospital for delivery, i went through a very hard vaginal delivery with a lot of complications, and after the help of midwives and doctor i gave birth to a baby boy but my baby didn't cry, and i think he lost his life suddenly while on the way coming out. The doctor keep telling me that i was facing shoulder dystocia, and on his death certificate i found that they wrote, that the death of the baby happen due to severe asyphixia.

    I still don't understand which is which and i really wish to conceive immediately as i hope it will slower and erase my pain but doctor telling me to wait for 6 month and the other one telling to wait for 4 month... I really needs your advice

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Jul 2018 - 15:41

    Hi Flora,
    So sorry for the loss of your son. I really hope that you have family and friends around to support you and that you are being well cared for. Shoulder dystocia happens when the baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the symphysis pubis after the head has delivered. The length of time it takes to deliver the baby then affects the amount of oxygen the baby gets as he is not able to take a breath until he is fully born but his oxygen supply from the cord is restricted. So to be completely clear for your own understanding it seems that your baby died due to severe asphyxia caused by shoulder dystocia.
    It would be very sensible to wait until you have healed both physically and to some extent emotionally before you embark on another pregnancy, but there is very little evidence to suggest when this should be. I understand that doctors give conflicting advice but each women is different and will be affected in different ways. ultimately the decision is yours. If we can support you more please don't hesitate to contact us on 0800 0147 800 if you have any more concerns or want more advice. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • By Adeola (not verified) on 16 Jul 2018 - 19:21

    April 11 2017,I have a stillbirth,a baby girl.I try again in March 22 2018, I have another baby boy the delivery was okay but the second day doctor notice that his not breathing normal and his SPO2 low,the transfer us to Lasuth hospital where we spent 30day and they discovered congenital heart disease but he died 42days after birth.Please when should I pregnant again

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Jul 2018 - 12:17

    Hi Adeola
    I am ever so sorry to hear about the loss of your two babies
    There is no easy answer to your question. You can start to try to conceive again when you are ready. Your doctor is best placed to help you make this decision as he/she will know your full medical and obstetric history. So it might be best to make an appt to have a discussion. I know that your care may differ to here in the Uk, but your doctor should be able to talk to you.
    Please take good care of yourself and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Sophie,Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Jul 2018 - 13:54

    My little baby girl's heart stopped beating at 28 weeks, on 28th May 2018 I have naturally delivered my sleeping daughter, which has been the most difficult and emotionally challenging thing I have ever done in my life. We have met our girl who was just perfect. Her cord was twisted around her neck twice.... Its been an emotional roller-coaster as i got my first proper period ... I am desperate for another baby.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 12 Jul 2018 - 13:46

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beautiful little girl. It is very natural to be feeling all sorts of emotions, and everyone find their own way to grieve and coping with losing their baby. Trying for another pregnancy is such a personal choice, it is up to you to feel when you are physically and emotionally ready, again this is so different for everyone. Please know we are here to support you as much as you need, we are here Monday to Friday 9-5pm via phone on 0800 0147 800 or email [email protected]
    Best wishes
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Josefina (not verified) on 6 Jul 2018 - 20:47

    Hi, I was expecting my baby boy on 02. 07.2017 and on 28 June I noticed something is wrong within me. I rushed to the hospital where they tried to help but on 29 around 2am my baby boy left me while in the womb. I am still mourning him and not ready to have another baby soon although I am planning to have one in future.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 9 Jul 2018 - 14:51

    So sad and we are really sorry to hear this. You have just passed the first year after your grief. This is a time when you are remembering what happened. We send you all our love and would welcome your call if you want to speak to a midwife. We are here during the week on 0800 0147 800.
    It is reassuring that you are reading our stories and we hope that you are gaining some strength from them. Please take good care of yourself. With love from Tommy's midwives

  • By Kenya (not verified) on 4 Jul 2018 - 22:15

    I was pregnant with my baby boy and woke up one morning/night @3:30am. I knew something wasn't right bc I felt like I just woke up from a bad dream.. I then rushed to the hospital and after they put the monitor on they couldn't find a heart beat and right then and there I knew a part of me felt like it was taken from me.. I'm trying to get pregnant again

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Jul 2018 - 14:30

    Hi Kenya, Thank you for your comment, we are so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby boy, we cannot even begin to imagine how you and your family must be feeling right now. It can be a very worrying and anxious time when you and your partner decide to try again for another baby, as long as you are ready both physically and mentally, take things one step at a time and don't put too much pressure on yourself. Be kind to yourself and if there is any help or advice that we can offer then please just ask. Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Jun 2018 - 07:52

    I had a still birth through cescerian section. It was my second baby and my second CS as well. It happened as a result of low amniotic fluid in the sack. I want to know when can it ok for me to conceive again.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 25 Jun 2018 - 14:50

    There is no hard and fast rule about when to conceive again. Some doctors advise that you wait until you have had a period before you try to conceive, but this is only advisory. The true test is when you and your partner feel that you are ready both physically and mentally. Take good care of yourselves x

  • By Emily (not verified) on 14 Jun 2018 - 20:37

    I was 2 weeks away from having my son Hunter. I woke up one night and was in a lot of stomach pain you could barely touch my stomach and i would be screaming because it hurt. I got to the ER around 5:00 A.M and they did an ultrasound to check on my son they couldnt find a heart beat. They broke my water right then and said i wasnt able to have a C-section that i had to push. I ended up giving birth to my 4 pound 7 ounce baby boy on April 23rd. I didnt have an epidural and found out i was almost dead myself i had to recieve 7 blood transfusions plasma and platelets. He was my first baby and im only 21. I burried my son on May 2nd. i miss my sweet baby.....

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Jun 2018 - 10:42

    Dear Emily, So sorry to read this and we really hope that you are getting lots of support and care. You are welcome to call us on 0800 0147 800 if you want to talk. Your description gives an indication that you had a placental abruption. This is where the placenta comes away from the wall of the uterus. The continuous pain and not being able to touch your stomach are the signals of this. You may find this link helpful.

  • By Nekky (not verified) on 5 Jun 2018 - 11:43

    Good day ma , i gave birth on the 26th of may nd my baby dnt cry immediately after birth but she was rushed down to hospital where they fixed oxygen on her nd she started breathing fine nd started crying but she stayed just 6 days nd later died ...pls i want to conceive again nd my bleeding have stop nd am seeing something lik white creamy stuff on my vagina ...pls what that white creamy substance???

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 6 Jun 2018 - 15:29

    Hi Nekky
    I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. I hope you are being well supported by medical professionals, family and friends at this difficult time.
    It sounds as if you could have vaginal - please seek the link below - thrush
    Thrush is easily treated but you will need to visit your local Pharmacist who can provide you with over the counter treatment. If this does not resolve it ,then you should go to your doctor to discuss this in more detail as they may need to test further.
    Please take care of yourself

  • By Emily (not verified) on 17 Jun 2018 - 04:00

    im sorry for your lost. i had a similar experience except my son was two days from his due date (May 11, 2018) but his heart stopped because he seperated from the placenta at 5:00 A.M on April 23rd. i was in the hopsital for a week included being in the ICU. he was only 4 pounds 7 ounces. like i said im sorry for your lost andif you need anyone to talk to you can talk to me if you would like

  • By nosipho (not verified) on 3 Jun 2018 - 18:43

    I was pregnant full term.I gave birth on 2 april 2018 to a beautiful baby girl,she did not cry and passed away after 2 hours.I feel ready to try to fall pregnant again.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Jun 2018 - 16:44

    I am so sorry to hear this and understand that you must be devastated. Please don't hesitate to e-mail [email protected] or call us on 0800 0147 800 if we can support you in any way. Best wishes x

  • By lethabo (not verified) on 1 Jun 2018 - 08:34

    Hi was pregnant i lost my baby at 38week

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 1 Jun 2018 - 12:08

    Hi Lethabo,
    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your baby. If we can support you at all then please do be in contact. You can email us [email protected] or call us 0800 0147 800.
    Take care
    Tommy's midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 22 May 2018 - 23:06

    had a premature birth at 30 wa s alive for 2 days weighed 1.5kgs...its been 2 weeks and feelg ready to try geting pregnant again

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 May 2018 - 11:20

    Hi, We are so sorry to hear about your loss and we cannot even begin to imagine how you and your family must be feeling right now, it is still so very recent and you are dealing with this in your own way.
    When trying again, it is so important that you feel ready both physically and emotionally and give your body time to heal after what you have been through. Your body takes a good 6 weeks to recover so try and wait until your 6 week postnatal check.
    Only you and your partner will know when the time is right for you both but please take your time and be kind to yourself. You can contact us at any time on email [email protected] or call on 0800 0147 800 Monday to Friday 9am-5pm. We are here for any help or support at this time. Take care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Kimone (not verified) on 19 May 2018 - 19:40

    I was 21 weeks and 5 days pregnant. I went for check up day before yesterday to find out that my baby had no heartbeat and my cervix was opening and closing. My dead baby came out yesterday and now am waiting on the results of the test they gonna run on him. Am distraught am 28 and he was my first child.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 21 May 2018 - 16:35

    Hi Kimone, We are so very sorry to hear this and hope that you are being well supported by your family and friends at this very difficult time. I hope you have found the information that you need on our website, but, if you want to talk to a midwife you are very welcome to call us on 0800 0147 800. With best wishes Tommy's midwives

  • By Martha lenah (not verified) on 29 Apr 2018 - 10:38

    I had a stillbirth at 22weeks, doctors say my cervix was week, but I want to conceive immediately, it's the only way that will take away the stress and pain of my boy, is it healthy for me?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 30 Apr 2018 - 14:13

    Hi Martha, So sorry to hear this and really hope that you are taking good care of yourself. There is no hard and fast rule about when to conceive again. Some doctors recommend that you wait until after your first period. This would help to date a future pregnancy and would also give you time to recover physically. However, there is no evidence to say that you shouldn't conceive straight away if you feel strong enough and if you and your partner feel that you are ready to do so. Best wishes to you. From Amanda - Tommy's midwife

  • By Monica coronado (not verified) on 16 Apr 2018 - 18:03

    I want to know if anyone that has lost their angel if they had any blood like discharge throughout the pregnancy?? I had blood like discharge since week 7 and the doctor and nurses kept telling me it was normal as long as it was not fresh blood. I am still waiting for the pathology and genetic testing results but, can't seem to rest thinking that the discharge affected my pregnancy.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 19 Apr 2018 - 13:47

    Hi, Thank you for your comment, having increased discharge can be common in pregnancy due to the change in hormones, as is spotting in early pregnancy. It is very difficult to say if there was any reason for the sad loss of your little one but once you have the pathology and genetic testing results back then hopefully you will have your questions answer's and then you can slowly start to move forward in your own time. If you feel like you need any support or guidance during this time then please contact the Tommy's Midwives by email on [email protected] Take Care, Tommy's Midwives x

  • By Jd (not verified) on 31 Mar 2018 - 04:43

    I lost my daughter a few weeks ago and as hard as it was losing her, there seems to be a big piece of me missing that I want to have so badly.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 4 Apr 2018 - 10:47

    Hi JD
    I am so incredibly sorry to hear about the passing of your daughter. I know that must be incredibly hard for you and partner to process and deal with. If you need a friendly chat, please do call us on 0800 0147800- we are here Mon to Fri 9 am to 5pm. Unfortunately we take a lot of calls from women like yourself so we are used to giving advice and support and ways to cope at such a tough time. Sending our love and thinking of you.
    All the best
    Sophie, Tommy's Midwife :)

  • By Monica Coronado (not verified) on 16 Apr 2018 - 17:55

    Hi jd. I am terribly sorry for your loss. Last week we lost our little boy and the pain is unbearable. I was hoping to ask you a question. Did they tell you why this happened?

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