Am J Perinatol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1776349
Original Article

Neonatal and Maternal Outcomes of Pregnancies following Stillbirth

1   Department of Medical Education, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Kara Stoever
2   Department of OB/GYN, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Phinnara Has
3   Division of Research, Lifespan Health System, Providence, Rhode Island
4   Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of OB/GYN, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Rhode Island
Valery A. Danilack-Fekete
5   Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
David Savitz
6   Department of OB/GYN, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Rhode Island
7   Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of OB/GYN, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Rhode Island
› Author Affiliations
Funding National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development grant 1R01HD077592, Principal investigator: D.S. Title: Effect of iatrogenic delivery at 34–38 weeks' gestation on pregnancy outcome.


Objective Prior stillbirth increases risk of subsequent stillbirth but has unclear effect on subsequent liveborn pregnancies. We examined associations between prior stillbirth, adverse neonatal outcomes, and maternal morbidity in subsequent liveborn pregnancies.

Study Design This is a secondary analysis of a large, National Institutes of Health-funded retrospective cohort study of parturients who delivered a singleton infant at a tertiary-care hospital from January 2002 to March 2013 and had a past medical/obstetric history of diabetic, and/or hypertensive disorders, and/or pregnancy with fetal growth restriction. Our analysis included all multiparous patients from the parent study. The primary outcome was a neonatal morbidity composite (neonatal resuscitation, neonatal birth injury, respiratory distress syndrome, transient tachypnea of the newborn, hypoglycemia, sepsis). Secondary outcomes included a maternal morbidity composite (venous thromboembolism, intensive care unit admission, disseminated intravascular coagulation, sepsis, hysterectomy, pulmonary edema, renal failure, blood transfusion), other maternal/delivery complications, and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission. Outcomes were compared between those with versus without prior stillbirth. Negative binomial regression controlled for maternal comorbidities and delivery year.

Results Among 171 and 5,245 multiparous parturients with versus without prior stillbirth, respectively, those with prior stillbirth had higher rates of pregestational diabetes, autoimmune disease, and clotting disorders. After controlling for these differences and delivery year, infants of parturients with prior stillbirth had similar risk of composite neonatal morbidity (adjusted relative ratio [aRR] 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.99–1.45) but higher risk of NICU admission (aRR 1.42; 95% CI 1.06–1.91) compared with infants of parturients without prior stillbirth, despite delivering at similar gestational ages. Multiparous patients with prior stillbirth had equal maternal morbidity risk but higher risk of developing preeclampsia with severe features (aRR 2.11; 95% CI 1.19–3.72).

Conclusion Compared with high-risk multiparous patients without prior stillbirth, those with prior stillbirth have higher risk of NICU admission and preeclampsia with severe features.

Key Points

  • Prior stillbirth increases risk in subsequent livebirth for NICU admission and neonatal morbidity.

  • Prior stillbirth increased the risk of severe preeclampsia for mothers in subsequent livebirth.

  • Additional monitoring of pregnancies of patients with prior history of demise may be warranted.


This manuscript was presented as a poster in SMFM's 41st Virtual Annual Pregnancy Meeting held from January 25 to 30, 2021 (abstract no.: 1085).

Supplementary Material

Publication History

Received: 28 April 2023

Accepted: 26 September 2023

Article published online:
31 October 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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