The British swimmer Rebecca Adlington who won 2 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has tragically lost her baby at 20 weeks.
After their regular scan Rebecca and husband Andy Parsons found their little girl had no heartbeat:
Rebecca wrote on her instagram account: “I don’t really have the words right now but unfortunately we went for our 20 week scan this week and they found no heartbeat”
She told her followers that shortly afterwards she had to go through the trauma of giving birth to her baby girl, who she named Harper.
Thanking staff at her local hospital
She went on to thank the staff at Wythenshaw hospital, Manchester, for their incredible support, and added::
“I can’t have people ask me how my pregnancy is or when I am due because I still look pregnant.”
“I don’t have the strength to tell this news individually. We are so truly heartbroken. Our beautiful girl. Rest in peace”
Our reporter Emma Kemsley, has given her support to Rebecca, understanding how she feels through personal experience. She went through the exact same procedure known as a termination for medical reasons, or TFMR.
She gave a moving interview about her experiences. made worse by having to go through it during covid, and although she’s managed to learn to move on from it, she understands exactly how upset Rebecca and her family will be feeling right now:
“”Fear set in after seeing something was wrong with my babies bladder, and I contacted the fetal medical team myself. They scanned me and told me there was nothing they could do”.
“I had to go through a termination by myself. It was horrific absolutely horrific”.
What are the potential causes of babyloss at the early stages?
No one knows for sure and only your medical professional can answer this question properly, but here are some general ideas about potential causes of fetal death or stillbirth at around 20 weeks of gestation.
It’s important to make it clear that the exact cause of fetal death can be complex and may require a thorough medical evaluation:
- Genetic Abnormalities: Chromosomal abnormalities, such as trisomy 18 or 13, can lead to developmental issues and may result in stillbirth.
- Placental Problems: Issues with the placenta, such as placental insufficiency, can affect the baby’s oxygen and nutrient supply, leading to fetal death.
- Infection: Infections in the mother, such as intrauterine infections or systemic illnesses, can increase the risk of stillbirth.
- Maternal Health Conditions: Chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, or autoimmune diseases can affect the pregnancy and increase the risk of fetal death.
- Maternal Lifestyle Factors: Smoking, drug use, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor nutrition can contribute to stillbirth.
- Cord Accidents: Problems with the umbilical cord, such as cord compression or a true knot, can lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients reaching the fetus.
- Fetal Growth Restriction: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) may result in inadequate development of the fetus and a higher risk of stillbirth.
- Placental Abruption: A sudden detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall can lead to fetal distress and stillbirth.
- Multiple Gestation: Twins or higher-order multiples pregnancies may have a higher risk of complications, including stillbirth.
- Maternal Trauma: Severe trauma or accidents involving the mother can sometimes lead to stillbirth.
- Unexplained Causes: In some cases, the cause of fetal death remains unexplained even after a thorough investigation.
If you or someone you know experiences a stillbirth or pregnancy loss, it is essential to seek medical support and counseling to understand the specific cause and get emotional support and counselling if needed.
We recommend Ellie’s baby loss app which provides incredible support for those .who may be facing giving birth to a baby that has died.
We send our love to Rebecca and her family at this terrible time.