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A star child is born – a child who will never breathe. Silent birth is called the arrival of star children. Silent because the first cry is not heard. How is a stillbirth defined? What is there to consider legal and how can you deal with the grief?
This text explains a sad topic: If you are still carrying your dead child, you can find out here about the process of a still birth. You will learn whether you can recognize contractions and what the 21st SSW is all about.
Sad Definition: When Is A Stillbirth?
When a decision is made to terminate a pregnancy, it is a very difficult situation for everyone involved. You may also be facing the issue of stillbirth for the first time. Whether it affects you or a good friend, it doesn’t matter: it’s a sad topic that people don’t like to talk about.
Yet 4 out of every 1000 births bring star babies into the world. It is a taboo subject and yet a natural part of life. Reading about it doesn’t make the grief any easier. But knowing the process makes you feel a little better about the situation.
Miscarriages before the 12th week of pregnancy often happen almost unnoticed by those around you. Parents and mothers often keep the information to themselves. Pregnancies before the 12th SSW may be terminated in Germany.
When reaching the 21st SSW, half of the pregnancy is over, a concretion phase of the baby begins. The risk of miscarriage decreases. Nevertheless, nature sometimes has other plans, and the pregnancy ends not with the first cry for life, but with a silent star child. Because there is no more sign of life, this is called a stillbirth.
The difference from miscarriage is the age and weight of the child – from the 21st week of gestation and birth weight of at least 500g, the definition of stillbirth is applied: Popularly called the stillbirth. The children die while still in the womb and are born dead.
Triggers And Causes Of Stillbirth
It is certainly not easy to cope, but often there is no reason, no trigger. The children die without any apparent cause. The stillborn children are called star children.
With one-star child, you may be able to find out why he or she didn’t continue to live – with another, the heart just stops beating, and no one knows why. There is no one to blame, not even yourself.
How Does A Silent Birth Work?
It has become clear that your baby is not going to live. You are faced with the decision to induce birth. Most of the time you are not in a hurry medically – the amniotic fluid protects unborn star babies as well as the mother’s health.
Decide calmly on a day to induce stillbirth. Some women wait until they recognize contractions – but this waiting and uncertainty are grueling. You’ll be able to handle the situation more easily if you can set the stage for it yourself.
Cesarean Section Or Natural Birth?
A C-section is usually not recommended – talk to your doctor and midwife about what risks they see with a natural birth. It would make sense to have an epidural, then you won’t have any physical pain on top of the emotional pain.
Also, grief is a quiet thing, and a quiet still birth will help you.
Inducing Labor And Recognizing Contractions
It usually takes several hours to several days for labor induction medications – also called labor cocktail – to take effect. Before you can recognize the first contractions, you have time to prepare yourself.
Talk to the clinic staff to see if you can leave the clinic again. If not, think about what you want to do or get before labor starts. You will spend many hours in a situation between sadness, despair, and yet happiness – make sure you have people you trust around you.
Preparation For The Birth
Would you like to have your star child emergency baptized or have a religious blessing? If you can’t arrange it yourself, the hospital staff will do it for you. You can contact a photographer. Hospitals know the right and tactful photographers for star children.
You might get a tiny baby suit for your child to wear. It’s past the 21st week, it will probably look like a normal little baby. Talk to the doctors and midwives about your concerns. You can also prepare the plaster cast of hand or foot for star babies.
Such a thing is a beautiful keepsake, as every child, dead or alive, leaves a footprint in the snow of your life.
The Birth Of The Star Child
You are past the 21st week, you may have already felt the movements of your child. Surely you have already established a relationship with your child. Most of the time you already know if it is a little boy or a little girl. You are already happy.
You will also feel a sense of happiness at the stillbirth. Star children are also your children, and it is important that you experience the birth with all the feelings. Hold your child in your arms, touch him, look at him. You will have the strength for it.
If you are afraid of the encounter, talk about it with your relatives or the clinic staff. You can also ask for psychological help and accompaniment. When star babies are born, midwives often just put them in a towel and place them in the mother’s arms. They may also bathe the dead baby and then give it to you.
After The Stillbirth
You are happy and feel joy and sadness. This is normal. You will get to spend some time with your baby, usually about three hours. If you have photos planned, baby pictures or special rituals, you can do that, or cancel it.
Maybe once your child is born, it will all be too much for you. It is your decision. The important thing is that you say goodbye. The parents have usually looked forward to the child together – they should also have a chance to say goodbye together.
If your star child has siblings, they often already know after the 21st week that you are having a baby. Depending on how old the siblings are, let them say goodbye too. Saying goodbye to star children is often easier for siblings if they are allowed to experience it directly. This creates a bond in the grief.
The Time After: Burying Star Children
You have survived the birth. Perhaps it was the worst thing for you to have to leave the hospital without your baby. Sometimes it makes sense to hold a funeral service while you are still in the hospital.
Whichever way you go, give yourself time. You had more than 21 weeks to be happy about your baby – now you will also need time to say goodbye. You can bury your child and have a proper burial.
Then you have a place to go with your grief. Many hospitals also offer to organize a funeral: The child’s body is then used medically and cremated if you wish. Most cemeteries have collections and memorial sites for star children.
Your Best Friend Is Facing A Stillbirth: How Can You Help Her?
Your friend has experienced at least 21 weeks of gestation. You can’t help her – but you can be there for her. In days of grief, it is not important to distract the mother of the dead baby – it is important to show empathy.
Take her seriously in her grief, endure it. Ask if you care – and be quiet if you can’t handle the answers and narratives. If you ask, you must endure the answers.
Listen, take her hand, tell her you are there for her. If she hides for a while, don’t push her. Just keep letting her know that you want to be there for her.
You are asked if you want to attend a silent birth? Think about it for a while before you say yes or no. This is a very emotional moment. This is a very emotional moment – and a great sign of trust when a friend asks you.
However, you may not feel up to the situation, or you may have already had a stillbirth yourself and don’t want to change the memory of it. Listen to your gut feeling.
Silent Birth: The Legal Aspects
A silent birth is a birth process – and as such, it is of course regulated by the authorities. Stillbirths also bring women into maternity leave. In purely legal terms, stillbirth is a delivery and the mother is entitled to 8 weeks of maternity leave.
If the stillbirth is premature birth, i.e. if the baby is born with a birth weight of more than 2,500g, there is a 12-week protection period. However, it is possible to return to work as early as three weeks after the stillbirth.
The Grief Work
If you already have children, include them in the grief work. Every stillbirth is a profound experience for all of you, including the children you bring into the world alive afterward. Consider a ritual, perhaps lighting a candle on the anniversary or going to the cemetery.
It is easier for siblings to understand your sadness and special mood if they know about the star children. You can also release a balloon into the sky.