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Risk of stillbirth increases after 41 weeks, study finds

BMJ 2019; 366 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l4487 (Published 02 July 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;366:l4487
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London, UK

The risk of stillbirth increases with every week that a pregnancy continues past 37 weeks, according to an analysis of more than 15 million pregnancies.1

Pregnancies that continued to 41 weeks—currently still considered normal term gestation —had a small but significant increase in the risk of stillbirth compared with those delivered at 40 weeks, with no difference in neonatal mortality.

More than 3000 babies are stillborn every year in the UK and a third of these are term babies—born at 37 weeks or beyond—who were considered to be healthy before …

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