The fall season signifies shorter days and longer nights, falling leaves, apple and pumpkin pies, and for 15-20 percent of American families who suffer the lose of a baby, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day is observed on October 15.
Black women are more susceptible to stillbirths, miscarriages, low-birth babies and pre-term labor compared to other women, and are thereby likely to account for a large percentage of the 15-20 percent of families who will remember their loss on October 15.
Causes and reasons for Black women’s increased risk of pregnancy loss include several variables: high levels of stress, access to adequate health care and coverage, and the following health conditions to name a few.
1. Blood Clotting or Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS)
APS is a syndrome characterized by a combination of symptoms, signs and/or test results. One sign or symptom of APS is pregnancy-related complications, including first-trimester miscarriage and second or third-trimester stillbirths.
APS affects pregnant women in multiple ways. In some women, APS antibodies can prevent a pregnancy from proper implantation in the womb.
In other women diagnosed with APS, blood clots in the placenta can lead to reduced blood and oxygen supply to the baby.
In both cases, the pregnancy can result in miscarriage or stillbirth.
Testing for APS is usually done by taking blood samples to check for the three specific APS antibodies. Once diagnosed with APS, medical treatment usually involves taking low doses of aspirin beginning in the first trimester of pregnancy, or as an early preventative measure, before conception.
In some cases, a doctor may advise that injections of a blood-thinning drug, called heparin, be administered to help prevent