The loss of a child at any stage of life, including stillbirths and miscarriages, can have devastating effects on a couple. With the death of an unborn child, there is a need for the mother to heal physically, emotionally, and mentally. Her significant other also experiences grief and needs to address the event and its emotional effects. This entry defines both stillbirth and miscarriages, provides further information about these occurrences, and discusses the counseling interventions that may be helpful for couples and families.


A stillbirth occurs when the fetus dies in utero at or after 20 weeks gestational age. The statistics regarding the occurrence of stillbirths vary, but approximately 1 of every 160 pregnancies results in stillbirth. The majority of stillbirths occur in utero, and the ...

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