Holding a baby after stillbirth: the impact of fetal congenital and structural abnormalities

Tess E.K. Cersonsky, Halit Pinar, Robert M. Silver, Robert L. Goldenberg, Donald J. Dudley, George R. Saade, Uma M. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: Stillbirth can result in numerous adverse psychosocial sequelae. Recommendations vary with regard to holding the baby after a stillbirth. Few studies have addressed the impact of fetal abnormalities on these outcomes. Study design: Analyses of singleton stillbirths within the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network were conducted. Patient and stillbirth characteristics were compared between those who did and did not hold their baby. Results from psychometric surveys were compared between cases with and without visible fetal anomalies. Result: There were no significant differences between those who held and those who did not hold in any patient or stillborn characteristics. Visible fetal abnormalities were not associated with adverse psychological outcomes. Conclusion: Fetal abnormalities, including congenital and post-demise changes, do not differ between those who held and did not hold their baby after stillbirth. This suggests that patients should not be discouraged from holding their stillborn infant in the presence of visible abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)735-740
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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