Miscarriage is commonly used to describe the loss of a fetus, usually before the age of gestation of 20 weeks. Stillbirth is the delivery of an infant which is dead at birth, regardless of the stage of development.
If a pregnancy is terminated deliberately, this is termed induced abortion, which may be medical or surgical in nature.
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Stillbirth, or more generically pregnancy loss, may be caused by:
Pregnancy loss is often emotionally devastating to the parents, particularly the mother. The stillbirth of an infant near or at term may be even more difficult to bear than early miscarriage. Parents who have lost a child to stillbirth may experience rage, depression, isolation, marital difficulties, and trouble resuming normal life.